I reccently got a mail from a senior Professor Dr Hasan as to why the Indo US nuclear Deal should not go ahead.
He believes that the deal is against the interest of Indian Muslims. His argument against nuclear power plants as as below :
“For who, pray, is civil nuclear deal energy security? For the elite malls and neighbourhoods or poor slums and tribal areas? Is the so called ‘clean’ nuclear energy really clean and risk-free from disasters, given the poor accountability and skills of our secrecy-shrouded nuclear bureaucracy? When governments can’t save its people from pervasive fatal manholes, can it from nuclear disasters? Bhopal’s Union Carbide disaster is a grim reminder.
There are abundant cleaner cheaper sources of energy in India which can be harnessed economically and independently: solar, wind, tide, river, and biogas. The Iranian gas is beneficial economically, environmentally, culturally and politically for regional peace and friendship, than the ‘strategic’ alliance with the USA, which always considers its own geopolitical interests above global environmental and economic fair play. Apparently, our policy makers, some with a past of serving international agencies where they got ideologically groomed, are more overawed by western policy makers rather than concerned about the peoples’ priorities at home who elect government and pamper them. ”
The dangers of nuclear power plants are either mostly misunderstood or are often misrepresented. My initial feelings favoring India going ahead with it are:
Nuclear energy generation now is as safe as aviation. It has killed less no. of people than malaria in last 50 years. This off course needs installation of mandatory safeguards.
1. Nuclear energy generation now is as safe as aviation. It has killed less no. of people than malaria in last 50 years. This off course needs installation of mandatory safeguards
2. Its very frugal on transportation. A few grams of U238 or thorium are sufficient to power a reactor as against 1000s of tones of organic fuel transported for power generation.
3. It has very low carbon emission thus saves global warming. The radiation emission can be suitably contained with radiation shields.
4. Technologically it’s a step forward in comparison to thermodynamically less efficient pawan chakki, drift or solar means.
5. With eternal threat of hostility from Pakistan/ Afghan a long pipeline from will be under a constant threat of military /terrorist attack and manning /safeguarding it will be a seemingly impossible task.
My further search for facts have got me concluding this:
The hyper link http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html discusses the safety of nuclear plants. Its interesting to see the death statistics given at the end of this article/ It reinforces the belief that nuclear power generation is much safer than any other means. There have been only 2 nuclear power plant accidents in entire history (Chernobyl and 3 mile island) . Here also , human error caused the security breach caused deaths
The hyper link : http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html discusses the safety of nuclear plants. Its interesting to see the death statistics given at the end of this article/ It reinforces the belief that nuclear power generation is much safer than any other means. There have been only 2 nuclear power plant accidents in entire history (Chernobyl and 3 mile island) . Here also , human error caused the security breach caused deaths
Among the leading cause of human deaths the contribution of nuclear power plants is not even 0.06 % .. In fact , it doesn’t figure at all in WHO list of leading cause of human death .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_killer
So there can be political opposition to Nuke deals for attaining narrow political gains but I see little/no reasons why purely on national interest any body should oppose it. A committed votary to this deal has been President Kalaam and I believe there is no bigger amalgam of scientific vision and Muslim perspective than him.
Installation of more nuclear plant will likely generate more high end employment for all and will probably solve some ‘ Have Nots problem’ . Just imagine what it can do if we have a nuclear plant powering Taranagar, Churu, Junjhunu. It will necessitate attention to development of good roads, communication , infra structure . Who will benefit from the projects which are executed ? Will not the ‘ Shoe shine guy ‘ or his son move to become a process controller there ? or securing the plant , arranging for distribution of power ?
Well , Shoe shines , hand pulled rickshaws , 10 Rs whores and dilapidated trams will remain the symbol of Calcutta for next few decades (Marx knows in heavens how many ?) , we in Pune have moved to a polish machine where we press our shoes to a cream dispenser and swing our shoes below a fiber wheel to get the shine we want.
Congress in my opinion should be lauded for doing whatever it takes to make this happen and so will be the braveheart who makes these automated Shine machine as ubiquitous as ATMs in Kolkata .