Nuclear deal crucial to meet India’s energy needs: Kakodkar

He said he was not opposed to the deal in the initial stages as perceived but admitted that he had reservations about some negotiation positions involving securing reprocessing rights and not placing the fast-breeder reactors under safeguards and those had been taken care of. "There were issues that had to be insisted," he said.

Asked about the opposition to the deal by some Indian nuclear scientists who had been his colleagues, Kakodkar replied: "I have heard various viewpoints but on the question whether the country needs power or not, I have not heard a second view."

The debate over India's nuclear programme brought to mind "our own development as men and women", Kakodkar said. "When you are a small baby, you have all the protection from external influences. But once you grow into an adult it would be foolish to stay protected. If a growing adult is prevented from interacting with the world, he will become lame."

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