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IAEA chief hails Asia as the nuclear powerhouse of future





Hailing Asia as the future centre of growth of nuclear power, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano on Monday said that out of the 61 nuclear reactors under construction in the world, 39 are in Asia.

He was talking during the inaugural address of the 21st Annual Conference of Indian Nuclear Society on ‘Impact of Radiation Technology on human health and environment' at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre here.

He said India, China, Japan and Republic of Korea were the countries fuelling the growth of nuclear power in Asia. He also called for equal rights and responsibilities for the developing world towards nuclear power. “Nuclear power should not be limited to the developed countries. It should also be available to the developing countries.”

Emphasising on equal responsibility to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, he said, “They [developing countries] have the same rights as the developed countries to use nuclear power for peaceful purpose and claim responsibility to ensure the highest standard of safety and to protect it from falling in the hands of the terrorists.”

He said the use of nuclear energy was spreading fast and the IAEA expected around 10-25 countries to bring their first nuclear reactors on line by 2020.

He termed India as a hope for many developing countries and appreciated the country's research and development in fast breeder reactors. “India has a global reputation for high calibre of nuclear scientists, technicians and engineers… It has contributed greatly to the peaceful application [of nuclear power] like medicine and food,” Mr. Amano said.

But he also emphasised the need for transparency while coming up with nuclear projects. All the relevant information about projects should be passed on to the people, he said.

Award for Kakodkar and Malhotra

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission was awarded the Indian Nuclear Society's Homi Bhabha Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2009, which carried a citation and a cash prize of Rs.2.5 lakh.

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