• New, safer reactor designs are of interest to India and the United States.
• The need for nuclear energy as a component of the overall energy future is uncertain and could be jointly studied.
India faces many acute challenges of energy development, which has caused the country’s leaders to consider India’s indigenous energy sources and how it can increase energy supply to better meet the exponentially expanding energy demand. Given this demand, India has chosen to pursue nuclear energy as a source of energy, and is planning a rapid expansion of the nuclear power sector in the coming decades. Anil Kakodkar delivered a special lecture during the workshop entitled, “Lowering threats in sustainable development using nuclear energy,” which highlighted several issues discussed by other presenters and which provided important context for the realities on the ground in India as they relate to the country’s energy needs as well as the long-term development of its nuclear energy program. Moderator Arcot Ramachandran noted that the energy need is two to three times the global average of 1.7 percent. Coal fossil fuels add more carbon dioxide into the air, but while nuclear energy is carbonfree, there are associated challenges, such as security threats and other risks. With that backdrop, Ramachandran introduced Kakodar, noting that he is a mechanical engineer and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and was responsible for the design and construction of many of the nuclear reactors in India.
Kakodar began his remarks by stating that from his perspective, the question of nuclear energy is intriguing, given the topic of the workshop itself: technical aspects of civilian nuclear materials security. The proposition Kakodar made is to consider nuclear energy as a solution to the larger problem of security-related risks connected with development assets because nuclear energy is one important means of addressing development issues. Security of all types, including conventional security, should be considered within frameworks such as those of physical security, malevolent acts of different actors, and so forth. Fundamental issues also exist and need to be addressed to move closer to permanent solutions. One of those fundamental issues is the link between the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Per Capita Electricity Consumption (see Figure 7-1).
The circled area in the top left is the optimum region where, if we are able to find that much energy for all citizens of the world, we would have met an important criteria on the HDI. One can look at the world in two parts, one part on the right side of that particular circle, that is a world essentially consisting of industrialized countries where the HDI is unaffected by the change in electricity use. Whether one increases electricity use or decreases electricity use, it is not going to make much difference in terms of the HDI. And then there is another part of the world on the left-hand side of that circle, where the HDI is, in fact, very strongly dependent on access to electricity. There is a larger part of the