Almost half of India’s power requirements could be met by nuclear energy, the country’s nuclear chief has announced.

“The proportion of nuclear power by 2050 could well be around 50% – 600-700GW – if we successfully bring to bear the indigenous capability”, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar told Asian Nuclear Energy magazine.

Currently, less than 3% of India’s power needs are met by nuclear energy and the country is expected to generate around 25% of its energy from nuclear power by the middle of the century, according to the Times in India.

However, Anil Kakodkar said that the 25% target would be hit by 2020.

India is planning to increase the capacity of 17 nuclear power reactors from 4,120MW to 10,000MW by 2012.

Last year the signing of a civilian technology supply agreement by India with the US led India to emerge from years of nuclear isolation.

The country’s nuclear capacity will get a major impetus as a result of the sale of foreign nuclear technology, equipment and fuel to India under the agreement, according to Kakodkar.