The Human Development Index correlates very strongly with per capita electricity consumption and the latter has to increase manifold before India can become a developed country in the fullest sense of the term. Nuclear energy and renewables have to play an important role in satisfying this surging energy demand.
The nuclear renaissance today in the already-developed countries is driven both by considerations of energy security and by the climate change threat. India has a three-stage indigenous nuclear power programme – Pressurized Heavy Water reactors, Fast Breeder Reactors and Thorium-based reactors. Fast reactors used in the closed cycle mode provide the option for the full exploitation of the natural nuclear fuel resources. This is further enhanced by inclusion of Thorium in the closed nuclear fuel cycle, making nuclear a near-Renewable energy resource. Also, for nuclear to be a sustainable mitigating technology in the context of the climate change threat, the nuclear fuel cycle has to be closed.
The Indian National Plan on Climate Change, released by the Indian Prime Minister on 30th June 2008, will evolve based on new scientific and technological knowledge as it emerges, as well as on arrangements for international cooperation.