Nuclear Energy in India- A boon or bane
Published 29th October 2010 - 29 comments - 10894 views -
In terms of Nuclear energy, following the completion of 123 Agreement between India and US and the waiver by Nuclear Suppliers group in 2008, India signed a Nuclear Pact with French firm Areva for building nuclear power plants at Jaitapur in Maharashtra and supply of nuclear fuel for the Atomic Power stations in Rajasthan. Areva will supply two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) of 1650 MWe each for the plants to be built in Maharashtra and the company was committed to supply fuel for the life time of the reactors, pegged at about 60 years. All the reactors would be located at a nuclear park Areva had been asked to develop at Jaitapur. As a part of the consignment of 300 tonnes of nuclear fuel which is natural uranium, 60 tonnes had been arrived which will be processed at designated fuel plants at the Nuclear Fuel complex (NFC) at Hyderabad and converted into fuel pellets to be used in the nuclear reactors for generation of power. The fuel bundles will then be used at the Rajasthan Atomic power station (RAPS). There are two power stations—RAPS-1 and RAPS-2 (220 MW each), which are under the International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards. The total quantity of 300 tonnes will enable the NFC to produce 20,000 fuel bundles. Each bundle containing about 15 kg of uranium dioxide, could generate about 6.4 lakh units of power. Under the separation plan, Indian will place 10 PHWRs under safeguards by the end of 2014 by placing two reactors each year. Nuclear Energy is going to be a landmark development for India for energy generation. Once if everything is carried out as per the proposed, it could dramatically reduce India’s dependence on conventional power and further reducing as much emissions of as 70% to that of conventional power.
This would have considerable impact on reducing the GHG reduction unlike the conventional power. But the effects that nuclear energy would create are not commendable. It is also has to be considered that, when a countries like India are suffering with the basic necessary facilities to keep up the development, the economic resources spent on nuclear energy could help in providing the basic necessary facilities for millions of the poor. The GHG emissions reduction could be achieved in several other economic ways like improving the energy consumption, transportation, etc. So on a whole; I counter argue the statement that nuclear energy development as a means for GHG emissions reduction.
Nuclear Power : Not cheap, Not safe, Not Wanted
Instead of investments huge chunks of money in nuclear energy and having Nuclear pacts and policies, we need to have something like UK’s “The No Money for Nuclear movement”. Some of the cuts it already made are as below:
- £83 billion in cuts over the next four years
- £4.2 billion from the education capital budget, a cut of 60%
- £4.8 billion from the communities capital budget, a cut of 74%
Nuclear will benfit from carbon pricing and emissions trading regimes, this in spite of the fact that nuclear is not renewable, not sustainable and higher carbon than any other renewable if the full life cycle carbon is taken into account. Nuclear does not deserve any environmental subsidy.
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