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India to develop nuclear energy sector


14:25, May 28, 2013

BEIJING, May 28 (Xinhuanet) -- With India suffering a major national power shortage, the country is moving towards the development of its nuclear energy sector.

Urgent electricity demands.

According to the International Energy Agency, more than a third of India’s population had no access to electricity in 2010. Rapid economic growth calls for sufficient supplies of power.

However, the country’s thermal, hydroelectric and renewable resources are unable to meet these needs.

As early as 2009, Prime Minister Singh announced a plan to supply a quarter of India’s electricity from nuclear power by 2050. In 2009, nuclear power generated 4 percent of the nation’s electricity. Now India is looking to further develop its nuclear sector.

India’s first nuclear power plant was built in 1969 with the help of the US. In 1974, India conducted its first nuclear test, leading to a nuclear embargo on the country.

In 2005, the US began talks on civil nuclear energy systems with India and signed an agreement of cooperation three years later. With the 34-year embargo lifted, India has received help on nuclear energy development from France, Russia and Canada.

Japan’s sales of nuclear equipment and technology to India have been hampered by sensitivity in Japan over India’s past atomic tests and its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But opportunities remain as Japan tries to boost exports of technology to help revive its own economy.

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