May 6, 2010 — The chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission will speak Monday at the University of Virginia about the state of nuclear energy in his country.
Srikumar Banerjee, who took over as chairman in November, will speak at 1 p.m. in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. The event is free and open to the public.
Banerjee, who is also the secretary of India's Department of Atomic Energy, has said that nuclear energy is essential to sustain India's economic growth without burdening the environment. However, because India does not possess large deposits of uranium, he said his country must find novel ways to use thorium, which can be found in abundance.
Banerjee is one of India's leading experts in materials science and technology. His visit is sponsored by U.Va.'s Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Department of Physics.
India and the United States entered into an agreement facilitating nuclear cooperation in 2008, lifting a 30-year moratorium on nuclear trade between the two countries. The agreement came despite India's nonparty status to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which limits the spread of nuclear weapons.