General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

Nuclear Power of India

MBA Aspirants are expected to have a minimum sensitization on current affairs. Certain issues may not be directly related with daily routine but they might impact country’s growth and economy. 
This general awareness article on ‘Nuclear power of India’ will help you to understand India’s perceived deterrent Power.
India’s nuclear power and its strategy is a study in contrast. India is the only country being given special treatment as far as nuclear fuel sourcing is concerned. As per the protocol of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an international body of forty countries having reserves of uranium, any country that has not signed CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), will not be given nuclear fuel.
India is not a member of NSG as it does not have huge reserves of uranium. India due to its strategic compulsions of national security has not signed CTBT. But at the same time India requires uranium for its civilian nuclear reactors from other countries to generate electricity. It is a contrasting situation with lot of dichotomies. Other countries that have not signed CTBT are Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.
So with the support of USA, India was waived off from this protocol at NSG due to its peaceful nuclear doctrine and clean past record. It is due to this waiver that India has signed civilian nuclear deals with countries like USA, France, Germany, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and so on to supply much needed nuclear fuel as well as technology to India.
This has opened the door for India to increase its capacity to generate electrical nuclear power and increase its component in the overall energy portfolio consisting of thermal, hydro, wind and solar power. India generates its two-third of electricity from thermal sources. But it is very polluting due to burning coal and is a big source of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, nuclear power is a safe and sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions.
Whenever, nuclear power of a country was talked about, the general perception was military use of nuclear bombs. But in the current world order, things have drastically changed. Now, a country’s capacity and capability to use nuclear power in civilian manner is something that has become the source of a country’s authority in the global discussions.
Primarily nuclear power has two uses, one being the military use for defense and another being the civilian use for generating electricity.  Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. In military use i.e. nuclear bombs, splitting of atoms is uncontrolled.  But at the power plant, the fission process is controlled and is used to generate heat for producing steam. This steam is used by a turbine to generate electricity.
As per International Energy Agency (IEA), Nuclear (fission) power stations, provided about 5.7% of the world's energy and 13% of the world's electricity in 2012. In 2013, the IEA report that there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors, in 31 countries, although not every reactor is producing electricity.
Along with other sustainable energy sources, nuclear power is also a low carbon power generation method of producing electricity, For every one unit of electricity produced, nuclear power emits much lesser greenhouse gases. It is called as total life cycle emission intensity in the parlance of energy scientists.
As of 2013, India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants,having an installed capacity of more than 5000 MW and producing a total of 30000  GWh of electricity while six other reactors are under construction and are expected to generate an additional 6,000 MW. India ranks nine among all countries in terms of number of operational nuclear reactors. 
Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity.
By 2020, India's installed nuclear power generation capacity will increase to 20,000 MW. India now targets to increase the contribution of nuclear power to overall electricity generation capacity from 2.8% to 9% within 25 years. For this, India has drawn up an ambitious plan to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000 MW in 2032. It will require smart strategic maneuvering as India implements this plan. 
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