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PM, scientists discuss Indo-US N-deal

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August 26, 2006 15:45 IST

The Indo-US nuclear deal, fuel shortage at atomic reactors and security at nuclear installations are understood to have figured prominently at the meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday.

The meeting is believed to have discussed the quantum of shortfall of fuel and means to address it.

Atomic reactors are not getting adequate supply of fuel and a recent case in the point is that of Tarapur nuclear plant, which was on the verge of shutdown had Russia not pitched in with uranium supplies.

Nuclear plants in the country are currently operating at 65 percent of their installed capacity.

The Indo-US nuclear agreement, once implemented, is expected to meet the shortage of fuel as it will allow the international community to supply the much needed uranium.

The meeting was attended by all members, including AEC chairman Anil Kakodkar, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi, Chairman of the PM's Science Advisory Council C N R Rao, Bbhabha Atomic Research Centre director Srikumar Banerjee, former AEC chairman M R Srinivasan, and Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan.

The shortage of fuel could hamper India's plans to generate 20,000 MW electricity from nuclear plants by 2020.

Another key issue to figure at the meeting was that of security at nuclear installations.

Three persons working at the Narora Atomic plant in Bulandshar district of Uttar Pradesh were arrested earlier this month for providing fake residential addresses.

Security at nuclear facilities across the country was stepped up, following reports that terrorists might target these installations.

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