History and evolution of nuclear energy scenario in India
Post-independence India envisioned nuclear energy as a way to reduce India’s dependence on oil imports, and achieve energy security. The three-stage nuclear power programme was a strategy formulated by Homi Bhabha in the 1950s to secure the country’s long term energy independence, through the use of uranium and thorium reserves found in the monazite sands of coastal regions of South India.
Apsara (1956) was India’s and Asia’s first nuclear reactor, located at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. First nuclear power plant of India was a Boiling Water Reactor set up at Tarapur, Maharashtra, imported from USA under an agreement in 1962.
India’s nuclear power programme progressed little between 1970s to 2000s due to international isolation and non-support from international technological powers after India conducted nuclear tests Pokhran I (1974) and then Pokhran II (1998). Nuclear power is still underdeveloped in India. Nuclear energy constitutes only about 2% of the energy mixture of India, while coal continues to be the major source of power (at around 60%).Continue reading