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New Billion Beats Nov 08 Issue Pages1 5

  1. 1. E-Paper WWW.ABDULKALAM.COM Vol. 2, Issue : 2 Friday, November 07, Indo-US Nuclear “Strength respects strength” Deal Advanced Nuclear Indo-US Nuclear Deal - Explored! Research in India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam answers to questions ! why now? he explains in detail. nuclear energy and bio-fuel for the transportation Thorium Dear friends, I would like to answer to certain sector. based Fast Breeder important questions from the youth and the common The hydel capacity generated through normal reactor citizens which I received by email, letter and also water sources and inter-linking of rivers is expected during interactions for the benefit of understanding to contribute an additional 50,000 MW. Large scale for the people, because the deal is through now solar energy farms of hundreds of megawatts capac- without any hitch and got the approval of NSG, US ity in certain number could contribute around Parliament and India 55,000 MW. The nuclear power plants should have a has ratified target of 50,000 MW of power. Atleast 64,000 MW with the of electrical power should come from wind energy. agree- The balance 51,000 MW has to be generated Editorial ment through the conventional thermal plants through be- clean coal and gas and other renewable sources of Dr. Kalam received energy such as Biomass, Power through municipal number of emails from the waste and solar thermal power. The most significant people and from large aspect, however would be that the power generated number of youth regarding through renewable energy technolo- the Indo-US nuclear deal. gies has to be increased to 28% Even though he has against the present 5% answered many questions With these background let me during interaction meetings, answer to the questions through media and also from one of through emails, it was felt that large number of youth are still repeatedly asking questions to him through email and it was continuing. Hence, it was decided to collate all the questions and Special Issue on Indo-US Nuclear Deal get a simple but detailed answer from Dr. Kalam and tween India and USA. My answers to many ques- the emails which I have received from Mr. Nitin Goel, bring out a special issue tions are based on my discussion with the experts in from Mumbai (<>). I will also re- through Billion beats e-paper, the field and the actual data from Department of spond to other questions of the people from various hence this special issue on Atomic Energy. walks of the people who asked me starting from 10 Indo-US Nuclear deal. We Before that let me give the background. India years old boy who sent an email. have covered most of the has 17% of the world’s population, but has only questions and brought out Simple strokes by Shreyas Navare about 0.8% of the world’s known oil and natural gas this issue as a most resources. Based on the progress visualized for the comprehensive issue for the nation during the next two decades, the power gen- readers. We regret the delay erating capacity has to increase to 400,000 MW by in brining out the issues in the year 2030 from the current 144,565 MW in time, we assure you that we India. This takes into consideration of energy econo- will strive hard to bring the mies planned and the design and production of issues in time henceforth energy efficient equipments and systems. Energy regularly. independence has got to be achieved through three Dr. Kalam’s Proximity to nature By V. Ponraj & different sources namely renewable energy (solar, Maj. Gen. R. Swaminathan wind apart from hydro power), electrical power from
  2. 2. E-Paper billion beats 2 Why do you need energy from imported Uranium? Question No.1 overall nuclear power – 18160MW) Technology development has to be Background There is a plan to increase this capacity accelerated for Thorium based reac- to 50,000 MW by 2030 through ura- tors. Thorium is a non fissile material; it When India would need 213 584 MWe in 2015 at the present 9.4% growth nium and thorium route for which has to be converted into a fissile mate- rate and when we have installed capac- ground work has already been done by rial through fast breeder reactor. For ity of 135,006 MWe already thus requiring additional only 78,578 MWe the scientists conversion of Thorium And when our 11th Plan has provided of Depart- and maximizing its 50,000 MWe from coal, 10,000 MWe ment of “We need uranium, when utilization develop- from hydro, 16,000 MWe from gas and 7,500 MWe from alternative sources Atomic En- our thorium reactors are ment of Fast Breeder total aggregating to 81,500 MWe, ergy. becoming critical by 2025. After Reactor has been Question Nuclear rightly taken up. But WHY DO WE NEED energy from im- 2030, we may not require any ported uranium? power gen- till then we cannot imported uranium; we can be eration has afford to exhaust our US President George W. self- self-sufficient with our internal Dr. Kalam: The present nuclear power been given a own nuclear resources Bush (R) meets with capacity which is around 3900 MW is thrust by the nuclear resources.” that is uranium. We Indian Prime Minister expected to go to 7160 MW by 2012 use of ura- need uranium, when Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office of the White with the completion of nine reactors nium based our thorium reactors House on September which are now in progress. Eventually fuel. However to meet the increased are becoming critical by 2025–2030. 25, 2008 in Washing- as per present plan of BARC and Nu- needs of nuclear power generation, it is After 2030 , we may not require any ton, DC. Bush told clear Power Corporation the capacity by essential to pursue the development of imported uranium; we can be self- Singh he was "working 2020 is expected to be increased to nuclear power using Thorium, reserves sufficient with our internal nuclear hard" to push their 24,000 MW (By the end of 12th Plan – of which are higher in the country. resources. stalled civilian nuclear pact through the US Why to sign the agreement in hurry? Question No.2 making the thorium based power plant PHWRs is reprocessed to obtain fis- Background When Dr. Vikram Sarabhai predicted critical after the extensive R&D within sionable plutonium. The choice of in1974 nuclear energy 43,500 MWe next 7 years time. PHWRs in the first stage is driven by by 2000? When Dr. Raja Ramanna predicted in Certainly, an aggressive effort for the fact that in PHWRs, on account of 1984 nuclear energy 10,000 MWe by further exploration of uranium is being the use of heavy water as moderator 2000? When DAE projected in 2003 nuclear pursued. Natural uranium contains only and on-power refueling, more neutrons energy 20,000 MWe by 2020? 0.7% of 235U, the only fissionable mate- are available to convert 238U to Pu than When all these years (since Pokharan - I) India was faced with nuclear sanc- rial available in nature. In principle, in the case of Light Water Reactors tion? however, the entire quantity of uranium (LWRs). In other words, for the same Question (235U and 238U) and thorium available in amount of mined uranium, power nature can be converted to fissionable produced as well as plutonium gener- DID OUR SCIENTISTS made such prom- ises on IMPORTED URANIUM? form that can be used for contributing ated is higher for PHWRs than in the Certainly NOT! to energy security of the mankind for a case of LWRs, where the light water It was based on India's own Uranium? few millenniums. moderator absorbs more neutrons and WHY then this hurry to sign the Agree- With the above-mentioned per- batch-mode refueling necessitates ment? spective, the Indian nuclear power placing burnable neutron absorbers in Dr. Kalam: Ans: Currently, the known programme is based on closed nuclear the core along with fresh fuel. Indian nuclear energy resources com- The highest breeding ratio in the prise only 61,000 tonnes of uranium FBR is achieved with plutonium- Advanced Heavy Water which can give 10000 MWe till its uranium based metallic fuel in the core Reactor (AHWR) - to “The known Indian nuclear lifetime and we have more than and uranium in the blanket. Introduc- derive two-third of its two- energy resources comprise only power from thorium 2,25,000 tonnes of thorium, which is tion of thorium in the blanket of a and one third from 61,000 tonnes of uranium which the second largest resource in the plutonium-uranium fueled FBR slightly plutonium generated can give 10000 MWe till its from Fast Breeder Re- world next to Australia. With the exist- increases the doubling time that has lifetime and we have more than actor (FBR). Implemen- an adverse impact on the rate of ing uranium in stock and available 2,25,000 tonnes of thorium, tation of AHWR project uranium certainly we can achieve the growth of the installed FBR capacity in and development of which is the second largest associated fuel cycle target set by the DAE. But the question the initial part of the second stage. facilities will provide is? Is it wise to exhaust our own ura- fuel cycle, in Hence, in the second stage, the intro- industrial scale experi- ence in the handling of nium resources now? What will happen duction of thorium has to be done in a thorium. which the spent fuel of the first stage timely manner, starting with the use of when we need uranium, at the time of November 7, 2008
  3. 3. WWW.ABDULKALAM.COM billion beats 3 uranium in the blanket and much later with plutonium- Why we have not reached 10,000 Chronology of the uranium based metallic fuel used in the core. DAE MWe till now? Indo-US Nuclear Deal research studies indicate that, it would be most appro- priate to introduce thorium in this manner, in the third Question No.3 July 18, 2005: President decade after the launch of metallic fuel based FBRs. Background Bush and Prime Minister When India's uranium resources are estimated at as 60,000 Hence, the introduction of thorium without going to – 90,000 t. India’s milling capacity is estimated at about Singh first announce their FBRs is extremely counterproductive, since the installed 50- 1000 t/year which is sufficient for 50-90 years for intention to enter into a 10,000MWe energy production per year and this has been power capacity with thorium and plutonium being used confirmed in public statements jointly by Chairman & Manag- nuclear agreement in together in thermal reactors will be unable to rise be- ing Director NPCIL, Director BARC and Director IGCAR; Washington. Question yond a rather insignificant value, considering the total (a) WHY ARE we begging for uranium? And; Indian requirement. (b) WHY have we not reached 10,000 MWe till date? March 1, 2006: Bush visits India for the first Dr. Kalam: As I have already mentioned, the known Indian Thorium is an immense source of energy. The time. nuclear energy resources is only 61,000 tonnes of uranium Indian resources of thorium are easily one of the largest which can give 10000 MWe only. It is not for every year. It is and of the best quality available in the world. Studies the total potential available in India. Presently, our nuclear March 3, 2006: Bush and indicate that once the FBR capacity reaches about 200 reactors are running at 50-55% load factor only. At present Singh issue a joint GWe, thorium-based fuel can be introduced progres- India imports about 30% of its primary energy needs. Stud- statement on their growing sively in the FBRs to initiate the third stage, where the ies done indicate that even if India exploits full potential of all strategic partnership, 233U bred in these reactors is to be used in the thorium emphasizing their energy resources there will be a need to continue imports at based reactors. DAE is also envisaging use of Accelera- agreement on civil nuclear the present level even after 5 decades. It is therefore neces- tor Driven Sub-critical Systems (ADS) for facilitating an cooperation. sary for us to look for options which can reduce import de- early introduction of thorium. pendence. I have answered to this question of requirement of uranium in detail in the second question itself. July 26, 2006: The US House of Representatives passes the 'Henry J Hyde Why Hyde act is not important to us? United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Question No.4 them. Obviously whatever is not permitted by US laws, will Cooperation Act of 2006,' Background not be signed by US firms. It, however, does not impose any which stipulates that Under Article 2.1 of the 123 Agreement with India constraint on India with regard to signing any contract with Washington will cooperate states firms in other countries. Thus once international civil nuclear with New Delhi on nuclear "Each Party shall implement this Agreement in accor- dance with its respective applicable treaties, national trade opens up, India can sign contract with several coun- issues and exempt it from laws, regulations and license requirements concerning signing the Nuclear the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." tries. The laws and regulations of the USA will not come in 123 Agreement with China states Nonproliferation Treaty. the way. To sum up, Hyde Act enables the US to have nu- "The parties recognize, with respect to the observance clear trade with India, and as a follow up the US has to lobby of this agreement, the principle of international law that with NSG to modify its guidelines to enable civil nuclear trade July 28, 2006: In India, provides that a party may not invoke the provisions of with India. Constraints imposed by Hyde Act are applicable the Left parties demand its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty." to US firms only. threadbare discussion on the issue in Parliament. This would mean The Hyde Act 2006 can be used Question No.5 against India at any time but it is not so in case of Background China. When India has already signatory to international Treaties on November 16, 2006: The Question biological, chemical and conventional weapons; US Senate passes the Question 123- WHY the 123-Agreement should doubly bind India by comply- 'United States-India WHY OUR LEADERS keep telling that The Hyde Act is ing with Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement under Peaceful Atomic Energy not important to us? The Hyde Act 2006. Cooperation and US Dr. Kalam: India has negotiated a draft of agreement of Answer: There is no clause in the agreed 123 draft with Additional Protocol cooperation with the US. India will be signing only the regard to binding India to Australia Group and Wassenaar Implementation Act' to agreement for cooperation and will commit itself to the Arrangement. "exempt from certain terms as included in the text of the Agreement. India requirements of the has to ensure that the text of the agreement is in accor- Question No.6 Atomic Energy Act of dance with the national laws and regulations in India Background 1954 United States exports while the US would do the same with respect to its laws When India is a sovereign State: of nuclear materials, and regulations. Please note that 123 agreement is a equipment, and technology Question framework agreement and not an implementing con- to India." WHY the US President is required to submit to the Congres- tract. Whenever implementing agreements or contracts sional committees a report are signed between Indian entities and US energy firms, (a) Whether India is fully and actively participating in the US Indian and the US firms have to ensure that they are in and international efforts to dissuade, isolate and if accordance with laws and regulations as applicable to necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear
  4. 4. E-Paper billion beats 4 Where is the assurance for Fuel supply? (Continued from page 3) Question No.8 Background weapons capability Article 5.6(c) of the Agreement provides as follows: (b) AND a description of the specific measures that India ".... Taking this into account, India will place its civilian has taken in this regard and if not so assessed what India- nuclear facilities under India-specific safeguards in measures US Government has taken to secure In- perpetuity and negotiate an appropriate safeguards dia’s full and active participation in such efforts. agreement to this end with the IAEA." (c ) DOES it mean Iraq like measures? Question WHY should India's nuclear installations remain under Dr. Kalam meets the Answer: It is not our concern as to what the US President IAEA safeguards in PERPETUITY once the 123- 123- Nuclear Experts during Agreement is terminated by either party? is required to submit to the Congressional Committees. It the DAE Award ceremony is between the US President and the US Congress to Answer: The Safeguards Agreement negotiated with the at National Technology Day & Function for Distri- determine as to what they should do. IAEA Secretariat ensures that PERPETUITY with regard to ution of DAE Awards. 11 safeguards is linked to PERPETUITY with regard to fuel May 2008, BARC, Mumbai Question No.7 supplies. Background When states:- The Hyde Act 2006 under Section 102 (13) states:- Question No.9 "---- the United States should not seek to facilitate or Background encourage the continuation of nuclear exports to India by The Hyde Act under Section 104(d)(5)(B)(iii) provides: any other party if such exports are terminated under the “In the event the IAEA is unable to implement safe- US law." And When The Hyde Act under Section 103 (b) guards as required by an agreement for cooperation states: (10) states: "Any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve pro- arranged pursuant to section 123 of the Atomic Energy safe- vided to the Government of India for use in safe-guarded Act of 1954 (42USC 2153), appropriate assurance that civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with arrangements will be put in place expeditiously that are Hydrogen BUS reasonable operating requirements." And When The Joint consistent with the requirements of section 123a.(1) of Explanatory Statement of The Committee of Conference such Act (42USC 2153(a)(1) regarding the maintenance describing the Background and Need for the Legislation of safeguards as set forth in the agreement regardless states:- (page 12) states:- of whether the agreement is terminated or suspended for any reason”. ".... US Officials testified, however, that the US does not It is easy for the US to disable the IAEA financially or intend to help build a stockpile of nuclear fuel for the even otherwise. purpose of riding out any sanctions that might be im- posed in response to Indian actions such as conducting Question another nuclear test. ---- . They endorse the Senate pro- posal, however, that there be a clear US policy that any DOES it mean that US Atomic Energy Act 1954 will fuel reserve provided to India should be commensurate prevail when IAEA is not able to implement the safe- with normal operating requirements for India's safe- guards? guarded reactors". Answer: Article 10.4 of the agreed draft of the 123 Question Agreement is relevant in this regard and is reproduced WHERE is the assurance for fuel supply? below: Dr. Kalam: As a background to this question, you have “If the IAEA decides that the application of IAEA safeguards is no longer possible, the quoted from Hyde Act and the Joint Explanatory Statement supplier and recipient should consult and agree of the Committee of Conference. India has not signed any on appropriate verification measures.” .” of these documents and therefore whatever is written in You may note that it is not the same as quoted by you in those documents is internal to the US. India will be sign- the background to this question. ing the agreed text of the 123 Agreement and subse- quently Indian entities will sign implementing contracts Question No.10 with US energy firms provided they come to an agreement Background on techno-economic terms and conditions. Indian entities Article 10 of the agreement provides that on termination of the 123-Agreement either Party shall have the right to 123- will also enter into implementing contracts with compa- require the return by the other Party of any nuclear nies in other interested countries. material, equipment etc. transferred under the Agree- ment. It is also provided that all legal obligations per- taining to the Agreement shall cease except that those ADS - Accelerator relating to the Safeguards and other related issues shall Driven System India will undertake obligations with regard to apply with respect to any nuclear items still remaining safeguards only when India is satisfied that on the territory of the Party concerned. An important basic It is further provided that either Party exercising the contracts with regard to fuel supplies are in place. right of return shall compensate, prior to removal of research area is to items, promptly that Party for the fair market value develop reactor thereof and for the costs of such removals. systems based on Fuel supply assurances have to be embedded into these Question thorium wherein implementing contracts. While negotiating Safeguards (a) WHAT is the relative cost of such buildings and power derived from Agreement with the IAEA Secretariat, it has been ensured infrastructure with the Uranium Fuel? thorium can be (b) WHAT does DAE intend to do with the empty increased and ex- that India will move forward with implementation of safe- nuclear buildings once the fuel is taken away? ternal input of fis- guards on indigenous reactors only when all conditions sile material can be Answer: The Article 14.6 of the agreed text of the draft conducive to the implementation of the safeguards agree- minimized 123 Agreement is relevant to this question and it says: ment are in place. India will undertake obligations with “If either Party exercises its right of return pursuant regard to safeguards only when India is satisfied that to paragraph 4 of this Article, it shall, prior to the contracts with regard to fuel supplies are in place. removal from the territory or from the control of the November 7, 2008
  5. 5. WWW.ABDULKALAM.COM billion beats 5 Chronology of the other Party, compensate promptly that Party for the fair market value thereof and for the costs incurred as a conse- quence of such removal. If the return of nuclear items is required, the Parties shall agree on methods and arrange- Indo-US Nuclear Deal ments for the return of the items, the relevant quantity of the items to be returned, and the amount of compensation that would have to be paid by the Party exercising the right to the other Party” December 18, 2006: As you notice from the above article, consequence of removal of items would entail financial loss resulting from non- President Bush signs into availability of electricity from such reactors. The party asking for return of items will have to compensate for such losses. This law congressional is likely to be a huge amount and therefore could make such a demand prohibitively expensive for the party asking for return legislation on Indian of nuclear material. atomic energy. Dear friends, with this question in detail, there are number of other questions also which I have received number July 27, 2007: of emails expressing their interest to find answers to many questions. Negotiations on a bilateral agreement between the There are lot of questions that nuclear energy at present gives only 3% of the total power generation in India and United States and India also is it worth spending huge amount to get the nuclear power by importing uranium from the Nuclear Suppliers Group coun- conclude. tries by accepting the Indo-US Nuclear agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation agreeing to the Safeguards agreement with IAEA. Is it essential? Is it required or not? Why not we live with whatever we have? Will it not compromise the sovereignty and Aug 3, 2007: The text of security of the nation? Will it not deter our right to do the nuclear test? Will it not compromise India’s foreign policy in favor of the 'Agreement for USA? Why the IAEA Safeguards agreement doesn’t allow the un-interrupted nuclear fuel supply and makes the safeguards in Cooperation between the perpetuity? In the event of breach of Indo-US nuclear agreement in order to protect the security of the nation and maintain Government of the United the integrity of the nation, the US will put sanction and NSG will withdraw the nuclear fuel, will it not waste of investment and States of America and the ultimately all the nuclear fuel will get emptied? The corrective measure included in the preamble of safeguards agreement is Government of India not tenable in view of the specific provisions of the Withdrawals and termination clauses govern the actual withdrawal or concerning peaceful uses termination? How to find an answer to these genuine questions? of nuclear energy' (123 Agreement) is released by Before let me attempt to answer the questions., let us look at the three state Indian Nuclear Power Programme as per the both governments. DAE sources (Ref Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Atomic Energy Commission lecture at Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore on 4th July 2008).