THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

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अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

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Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

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Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Role of Nuclear Power in India: a holistic approach' - A Response toDr. APJ Abdul Kalam

http://www.dianuke.org/a-response-to-dr-kalam-sankar-sharma/

To
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
C/O Editor, The Hindu

Dear Dr. Kalam,

Greetings from Western Ghats.
This has reference to an article in The Hindu under your name as below.

Nuclear power is our gateway to a prosperous
future<http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2601471.ece?homepage=true&gt;

After reading the article I got the feeling that a holistic view of nuclear
power and the Indian energy scenario was not considered by those who might
have briefed you.

When we consider a crucial policy, such as nuclear power policy, which will
have far reaching consequences for many generations, we should not only
take a very careful approach but also respect the "precautionary principle"
as propounded by World Charter for Nature which was adopted by consensus by
UN General Assembly in 1982.

Three principles so adopted were: (i) Activities which are likely to
cause irreversible damage to nature should be avoided; (ii) Activities
which are likely to pose significant risk to nature shall be preceded by
an exhaustive examination; their proponents shall demonstrate that
the expected benefits outweigh potential damage to nature, and
where potential adverse effects are not fully understood, the
activities should not proceed; (iii) Environmental Impact Assessment should
be thorough, be given sufficient time, and be carried out in an open
and transparent fashion.

Can we say that the considered opinion of many eminent people like Michail
Gorbachev, Dr. A Gopala Krishnan, Dr. Balaraman, Dr. Helen Caldicott
(Physicians for Social Responsibility), Peter Bradford (Former
Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory commission) etc. have no role to play
in our policy ?

Additionally, Indian power sector has many other issues not addressed in
your article. One of the enclosed article deals with some of those
issues. If we consider all these issues objectively the need or otherwise
for nuclear power may become obvious.

It would be very useful if you can please attempt to respond to many issues
raised in the attached article, and to questions raised in
another open letter to Dr. Anil Kakodkar (both attached).

Regards

Shankar Sharma
Power Policy Analyst
Mulubagilu, Doorvasapuram Post, Thirthahally
Shimoga District, Karnataka – 577432
Phone: 08181 203 703 / 296 402 & 94482 72503
shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com
shankar_sharma1955@hotmail.com

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I
hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we
tackle that." – Thomas Edison in conversation with Henry Ford, 1931

*Role of Nuclear Power in India**: a holistic approach*

*———————————————————————-*

Shankar Sharma
Power Policy Analyst
shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com<http://mail.google.com/mail/h/1jsvdwg35e0fh/?&v=b&cs=wh&to=shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com>

————————**

*Synopsis:* The debate as to whether nuclear power is a safe, suitable and
essential option for India has been going on for many decades. While the
proponents of the nuclear power have been offering many arguments in favour
of the option, there have been any numbers of issues raised by those who
consider it to be not the best solution to meet the legitimate energy
requirements of our society on a sustainable basis. This paper attempts to
take a holistic look at the relevant issues.

*Key terms: credible risks, CBA, efficiency, Precautionary Principle,
alternatives*

* *

***Preamble*

The debate as to whether nuclear power is a safe, suitable and essential
option for India has been going on for many decades. While the proponents
of the nuclear power have been offering many arguments in favour of the
option, there have been any numbers of issues raised by other sections of
the society who consider it to be not the best solution to meet the
legitimate energy requirements on a sustainable basis.  A holistic approach
towards nuclear power in the Indian context is very essential before India
commits itself to additional nuclear power plants. All the related issues
from technical, economic, social, environmental and even inter-generational
perspective need careful consideration keeping in view the long term
implications of a nuclear power policy.  Most importantly such a long term
policy should not be pursued without people's effective participation.



*Nuclear accidents*

Nuclear power plants are some of the most sophisticated and complex energy
systems ever designed.  Any complex system, no matter how well it is
designed and engineered, cannot be deemed failure-proof.  The reactor
systems are so enormously complex machines with the possibility of a large
number of things that can go wrong. The fact that no nuclear power plant
has completed the timeframe of 100 years yet gives raise to the concern
that there may be many failure modes not experienced so far. It appears
almost impossible to ensure adequate levels of safety during such a long
period.

There are concerns that a combination of human and mechanical error at a
nuclear facility could result in significant harm to people and the
environment.  Operating nuclear reactors contain large amounts of
radioactive fission products which, if dispersed, can pose a direct
radiation hazard, contaminate soil and vegetation, and be ingested by
humans and animals. Human exposure at high enough levels can cause both
short-term illness and death and longer-term death by cancer and other
diseases.

The most common failure mode of utmost concern in a nuclear power plant is
the failure of the cooling system of the reactor.  Even after shutting
down, for some time the reactor will need external energy to power its
cooling systems. Normally this energy is provided by the power grid to that
the plant is connected, or by emergency diesel generators, or by a battery
bank. Failure to provide power for the cooling systems, as happened in
Fukushima<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Fukushima_I_nuclear_accidents>,
can cause serious accidents.  Such a failure of cooling system of the
reactor can happen because of many reasons, and there is ones section of
the expertise which believes that it is impossible to design a nuclear
power plant with foolproof cooling system, as can be gauged from the three
major accidents which have happened. In Fukushima three independent supply
systems to power the cooling systems failed to prevent the damage in a
strange coincidence of failures.

Nuclear reactors have become preferred targets during military conflict
and, over the past three decades, have been repeatedly attacked during
military air strikes, occupations, invasions and campaigns.

*Nuclear Controversy***

Proponents argue that nuclear
power<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power> is
a sustainable energy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_energy&gt; source
which reduces carbon
emissions<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_emissions>; and
can increase energy security <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_security> if
its use supplants a dependence on imported fuels. Proponents advance the
notion that nuclear power produces virtually no air pollution, in contrast
to the chief viable alternative of fossil fuel. They emphasize that the
risks of storing waste are small and can be further reduced by using the
latest technology in newer reactors, and the operational safety record in
the Western world is excellent when compared to the other major kinds of
power plants.

Opponents say that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the
environment. These threats include health risks and environmental damage
from uranium mining <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining>,
processing and transport, the risk of nuclear weapons
proliferation<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_proliferation> or
sabotage, and the unsolved problem of radioactive nuclear
waste<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_waste>.
They also contend that reactors themselves are enormously complex machines
where many things can and do go wrong, and there have been many serious nuclear
accidents <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_accidents&gt;. Critics do not
believe that these risks can be reduced through new
technology<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology>.
They argue that when all the energy-intensive stages of thenuclear fuel
chain <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fuel_chain&gt; are considered,
from uranium mining to nuclear
decommissioning<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning>,
and the amount energy required to keep the nuclear waste safe for thousands
of years, nuclear power is not a low-carbon electricity source.

*Economics of Nuclear Power*

The new nuclear power plant being built in Europe is by EDF at Flamanville
in France. It is now at least four years behind time and Euro 2.7 Billion
over budget.  The only other new nuclear plant being built in Europe is at
Olkiluoto in Finland.  Areva, the builder of this plant is reported to be
four years late and Euro 2.6 Billion over budget.

[
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/20/edf-french-nuclear-reactor-delays<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/20/edf-french-nuclear-reactor-delays#_blank>
]

[http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/19/nuclear-power-gas-coal<http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/19/nuclear-power-gas-coal#_blank&gt;
].

When nuclear power was initially propounded as a possible source of
electricity, it was touted as so cheap that even metering its consumption
was considered unnecessary. Today it is the seen as the costliest source of
electrical power.  It is projected that at Jaitapura (Maharastra) the total
cost of the proposed power capacity of 9,900 MW with 6 of EPR reactors will
be about Rs. 200,000 Crores. This comes to about Rs. 20 Crores per MW.  In
comparison the cost of a coal power plant is about 7 – 9 Crores/MW, and
that of a hydel power plant is about Rs. 8 – 10 Crores/MW.  Even the cost
of a solar power plant, which was being dismissed as very costly till
recently, is known to be about Rs. 18-20 Crores /MW without any of the
attendant risks of nuclear power.  In view of the continuously dropping
costs of solar power technology, there is already a projection that by 2017
the cost of solar power will compare favorably with that of coal power.
So, the capital cost aspect of nuclear power seems to be against the
technology.

Long term storage of nuclear waste is a major issue requiring our
attention. Even US, which has over 100 nuclear reactors and which depends
upon nuclear power for about 20% of its electricity generation capacity,
has not found a satisfactory answer to this problem.

In a related article Dr. M V Ramana has shown that the cost of a 235 MWe
nuclear power unit at Kaiga, Karnataka is much more than that of a
comparable size coal power unit at Raichur, both built at about the same
time.  If we also take into objective account the long term storage costs,
insurance costs, government subsidies  and all the associated environmental
and health costs, the nuclear power projects will be much costlier than any
other conventional power sources.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, had expressed his
concerns in an article 'Chernobyl 25 years later: Many lessons learned'.
He has said:  " … But it is necessary to realize that nuclear power is not
a panacea, as some observers allege, for energy sufficiency or climate
change.  Its cost-effectiveness is also exaggerated, as its real cost does
not account for many hidden expenses."

*In an article, Dr. Michael I. Niman,  a professor of Journalism and Media
Studies at Buffalo State College has anlysed the nuclear power cost: *"The
potential risk from a nuclear accident is so huge as to be commercially
uninsurable. In fact, if the nuclear power industry were left to fend for
itself in the free market, it would instantly collapse, turning upside-down
once risk gets factored into any equation. The risk of catastrophe is so
high, and the potential catastrophe so large, that the cost of insurance,
assuming hypothetically that it was available, raises the cost per kilowatt
hour of electricity off of the charts."

*Safety concerns for the Public*

Since each of the three techno-economic super powers (USA, Russia and
Japan) has experienced the nuclear emergency from their power plants, the
very wisdom of relying on nuclear power technology is being increasingly
questioned.  If such resource rich and knowledgeable communities could not
avert nuclear emergencies, can our densely populated and ill-prepared
society ever hope to avert the possible human catastrophe from a nuclear
mishap?

While the country is fortunate that there have been no major accidents in
the nuclear establishment, the observers are of the opinion that adequate
safety of operation in the nuclear facilities within the country cannot be
guaranteed for various reasons. While more and more complex safety
systems/redundancies are being designed and built for the overall safety of
nuclear power stations, it should be noted that they are only increasing
the number of sub-systems and the complexity.

In an open letter, signed by more than 50 prominent figures, Dr. Balaram,
director of the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and part
of prime minister Manmohan Singh's scientific advisory council, has
stated:  "In the light of what has happened in Japan…. we strongly believe
that India must radically review its nuclear power policy for
appropriateness, safety, costs, and public acceptance, and undertake an
independent, transparent safety audit of all its nuclear facilities, which
involves non-DAE experts and civil society organisations. Pending the
review, there should be a moratorium on all further nuclear activity, and
revocation of recent clearances for nuclear projects," said Dr Balaram.

The proponents of nuclear power in India project it as a very safe
technology.  But the reality in Indian conditions seems to be vastly
different.  In an article by rediff NEWS at rediff.com on 4th October 2010
under the title "197 suicides and 1,733 deaths at India's nuclear
establishments in last 15 yrs", it was mentioned that  "197 employees
belonging to a number of nuclear establishments and related institutes in
India  have committed suicide and 1,733 scientists and employees belonging
to these centres have died of illnesses like multiple organ failure, lung
cancer, cirrhosis of liver etc, as per a report compiled by Mumbai-based
RTI activist *Chetan Kothari*."

On safe practices in nuclear industry in India, the ex-chairman of the
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan has the
following to say: "…. in India, we are most disorganised and unprepared for
the handling of emergencies of any kind of even much less severity. The
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board's (AERB's) disaster preparedness oversight
is mostly on paper and the drills they once in a while conduct are
half-hearted efforts which amount more to a sham."

A new dimension to the public safety is the 'nuclear terrorism'.  In this
regard Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, had
expressed his concern in an article "Chernobyl 25 years later: Many lessons
learned".  He says:  " …. I also remain concerned over the dangers of
terrorist attacks on power reactors and terrorist groups' acquisition of
fissile material."  " ……. we must very carefully consider the vulnerability
of reactor fuel, spent fuel pools, dry storage casks, and related fissile
materials and facilities to sabotage, attack, and theft. While the
Chernobyl disaster was accidental, caused by faulty technology and human
error, today's disaster could very well be intentional."  His caution of
wisdom also included : "The material damage inflicted by Chernobyl,
although enormous, pales in significance when compared to the ongoing human
costs. The true scope of the tragedy still remains beyond comprehension and
is a shocking reminder of the reality of the nuclear threat. It is also a
striking symbol of modern technological risk."

There have been suggestions from Indian nuclear authorities that the safe
storage of nuclear waste is technically feasible during its active life
time. Is it really so, and even if it is so, what about the huge costs
involved? In this regard there are credible and serious concerns that
whereas the present generation may get the benefit of electricity from
nuclear power, the future generations have to deal with all the risks and
costs associated with the spent fuel. Is this fair or socially responsible?*
*

*Major issues for the society with Nuclear power technology*
*Economic  Issues*Demands large tracts of forests and fertile land; huge
Capitalcosts; long term waste management costs; serious shortages ofnuclear
fuels*Social  Issues*Peoples' displacement and health; long term health
implications;inter generational  implications of nuclear waste;*
Environmental  **Issues*Mining related pollution; radiation emission during
operations andfrom nuclear wastes for centuries ; radiation contamination
of air,water and  land; contamination of food products

*
*

*How relevant and green is nuclear power to Indian scenario?*

Observers of nuclear power industry have been of the opinion that whereas
the nuclear establishment in the country has been making tall claims on the
increased role of nuclear energy, the reality has been much less in
successive decades after independence.  The reality has been quite
different.  Despite the huge increase in the total power generation
capacity in India, from a meager 1,800 MW in 1950 to 177,000 MW in 2011,
the total contribution of nuclear power to the total power generation
capacity is about 2.7% only.

Pro-nuclear advocates have started to argue that nuclear power is a good
option against Global Warming.  Two assumptions made by such pro-nuclear
advocates are fundamentally flawed. One is that Global Warming can be
contained without fundamentally changing the Western pattern of energy
consumption, because nuclear energy is tiny contributor to energy mix world
wide.  It is generally considered to be impossible to contain Global
Warming without significantly reducing the energy consumption levels of
Western/ developed countries.

The second flawed assumption is that adoption of nuclear power can make
sense as a strategy to lower aggregate carbon emissions. In this regard an
example of Japan, a pro-nuclear energy country until the Fukushima
disaster, is given. From 1965 to 1995 Japan's nuclear power plant capacity
went from zero to over 40,000 MW. During the same period its CO2   emissions
increased from about 400 million tons to about 1,200 million tons.
Increased use of nuclear power did not really reduce Japan's emission
levels. {M. V. Ramana, "Nuclear Power in India: Failed Past, Dubious
Future", March 2007,http://www.isn.ethz.ch}.

In an article "Too hot to handle? The future of Civil Nuclear Power"  Frank
Barnaby and James Kemp of Oxford Research Group have discussed why the
nuclear power cannot be an acceptable option in the future, even from the
Global Warming considerations.  They have estimated that about 2,500
Nuclear reactors of average capacity 1,000 MWe would be required, and
nearly four new reactors would have to begin construction each month from
now until 2075.  Looking at the past experience of slow growth, the
increasing public opposition, the safety issues, the threat of nuclear
terrorism etc. such a huge addition of installed capacity is impossible.

Additionally, the amount of energy consumed in the nuclear fuel cycle from
the mining stage till its radio active emission gets reduced to safe levels
after hundreds of years is estimated to be colossal. The contribution to
atmospheric pollution at the stages of mining and processing, and radiation
leaks to atmosphere are not inconsiderable.  Taking all these facts into
objective account it seems futile to argue that the nuclear power can make
considerable contribution to mitigating the threat of Global Warming.



*Credible alternatives to Nuclear Power – *Indian perspective

Keeping in proper perspective the fact that the contribution of nuclear
power to the total power generation capacity is only 2.7% even after
massive budgetary support since 1950s should raise the very pertinent
question as to how important is nuclear power in the context of overall
power sector in India.

The power sector in the country is characterised by the gross inefficiency
prevailing in the system; whether it is in generation, transmission,
distribution or utilization.  From the perspective of the transmission &
distribution losses alone in the country, it becomes strikingly evident
that bringing it to 10% from the present level of 25% can provide more
virtual additional power capacity than the total projected nuclear power
capacity of 12,000 MW by 2020.

The average Plant Load Factor (PLF) of the coal power plants in the country
is about 73%, which if taken to 90% can provide about 15,000 MW of virtual
additional capacity in the existing infrastructure.  The potential for
efficiency gains from hydel power plants is not inconsiderable either.

Urgent measures such as improving the generating plant performance;
reducing the T&D losses; minimizing the wastage in end usage; optimising
the demand side management (DSM); and maximising energy conservation will
be able not only to eliminate the existing deficits, but also will be able
to meet a good portion of the future electricity demand.

The perceived need for any additional power plants in the country needs to
be considered in the context of many other blunders within the power
sector: the unscientifically targeted subsidies which have become
unsustainable; huge losses incurred by the electricity supply companies;
corrupt political interference in the affairs of these companies; lack of
social and environmental responsibility for these companies; and poor work
practices in these companies.  Such deficiencies for decades have resulted
in serious problems for the society as a whole. Without addressing these
serious deficiencies to invest massively in additional power capacity will
be a huge drain on the society.

*                                                          Power Sector
Efficiency in India*

(Source: Compiled on the basis of many reports/article on Indian Power
Sector)**

*
*
*       Power Sector Area**Prevailing level of efficiency / loss in
India**Potential
for improvement/savings (percentage of total annual energy)**Generating
capacity utilisation*  50 – 60%5-10 %*Aggregate Technical & Commercial
losses (AT&C)*  35 – 40 %15 -20%*End use efficiency in agriculture*  45 –
50 %15-20%*End use efficiency in industries and commerce*  50 – 60 %5 -10 %*End
use efficiency in other areas**(domestic, street lights and others)*  40 –
50 % 5 -10 %*Demand Side Management*Potential to reduce the effective
demand by more than 20%

*                                             *

A rational analysis of the gross inefficiency prevailing in various
segments of the power sector will reveal that about 30 – 40% of the present
demand can be met by the efficiency improvement measures, which would make
the existing scenario to be surplus by a considerable margin.

Being a tropical country, India is also endowed with huge potential in new
and renewable energy resources.

*N&RE Potential In India*

(Source: MNRE)
*Potential*: (Grid interactive power only)Remarks*1. Wind energy*****>
45,000 MW*100,000 MW as per World Institute of Sustainable Energy**2. Small
hydro*****15,000 MW*3. Solar*****over 5,000 trillionkWH/yearPotential
estimated to be many times more than the total energy needs of the country;*As
per World Institute of Sustainable Energy*CSP based solar power  – 200,000
MWSolar PV based power   – 200,000 MW*4. Bio-mass*****>> 25,000Not known*5.
Geo-thermal and Ocean energy*HugeEstimates not known



Huge emphasis is needed on decentralized energy options in the future
energy policy. Major options which have been considered as
techno-economically viable are:

   - Roof top solar Photo Voltaic systems, which can meet most of the
   domestic and smaller loads, such as lighting, TV,   computers etc.  These
   are being increasingly used in countries like Germany and USA not only to
   meet the domestic necessities, but for even exporting the excess power to
   the grid through a mechanism known as Feed-in- tariff.
   - Solar water heaters have established themselves as very effective
   tools to provide hot water for houses, nursing homes, hotels etc. at very
   economical prices.  They are found to be very popular in Towns and cities,
   but can find good use in rural areas also.
   - Community based bio-mass systems are highly suited for rural areas,
   which generally have very good supply of bio-mass.
   - At places where there is good average wind speed throughout the year,
   wind turbines can provide very cheap power either at the community level or
   at the individual house holds level.

Keeping in view the overall welfare of our communities, and the
sustainability of energy supply scenario, huge emphasis is essential to
develop and harness renewable energy sources as the first option of energy
source for each MW of additional demand.



*Holistic view of overall costs to the society: *Costs & Benefits Analysis

In deliberating as to how much and what technology to be adopted in adding
to the electricity generating capacity, there is a dire need to keep the
overall costs and benefits to our society of such a policy in proper
perspective.  Any course of action we may take in order to meet the growing
power demand in future will have deleterious impacts on our natural
resources and environment, as also on the vulnerable sections of our
society.  Hence there is an imminent need to take utmost care in minimizing
such impacts.

A good decision making mechanism in this regard is Costs & Benefits
Analysis, which will take into account all possible costs and benefits
(direct and indirect, tangible and intangible) to our society in an
objective way, and deliberate in detail on the best course of action in the
overall benefit of the society. Any decision to build a nuclear facility
(or for that matter any technology we may like to adapt) should be preceded
by such a diligent process.

Many benign alternatives to nuclear power could become evident if the
concerned authorities care to look for them.  It is very pertinent to state
that the benefits from these alternatives can come at much less overall
cost to the society and with least impact on the environment and the
population.  Without considering various alternatives it may be considered
as scandalous to consider that nuclear power plants at horrendous cost
should be acceptable to the society.



*Conclusions*

In any such discussion on nuclear power in India adequate focus on the
following issues will be of critical importance.

   1. Despite huge investment in the nuclear industry since 1950s why the
   nuclear power capacity has not lived upto the tall claims of its Captains?
   2. In the background of the fact that USA, USSR and Japan, which are all
   known to be the leaders in technological issues, and which are generally
   associated with quality and safety issues, have failed to avert nuclear
   accidents, can India hope to have safe/accident free operation of all the
   existing/proposed reactors?  **
   3. Can we say the decision by Germany and Japan to move away from the
   reliance on nuclear power is ill-conceived?  Have, Australia and New
   Zealand which have shunned nuclear power from the beginning, suffered from
   lack of quality electricity supply?**
   4. With the projected cost at Jaitapur nuclear power park (Maharastra)
   of about Rs 20 crore per MW, can nuclear power compare favorably with coal
   power (about Rs. 7 Crore/MW), OR hydro power (about Rs. 8 crores/MW) OR
   solar power (about Rs. 20 /MW and which is coming down steeply)?**
   5. Are there better options to bridge the gap between demand and supply
   of electricity in a densely populated country such as India? Shall we not
   consider all the much benign options before we consider the nuclear power
   option, which has not gained popular acceptance because of many reasons?*
   *
   6. Can we afford to accept the high risks (where 'risk' = 'probability
   of nuclear accident occurring' X 'consequences of such an accident')
   associated?  How many of us are ready to live near a nuclear power plant
   knowing well the credible threat of radiation leakage?**
   7. In the background of three major nuclear accidents, and many near
   misses, can we afford to ignore the "precautionary principle" as enunciated
   by the international convention of bio-diversity?**
   8. Can we afford to ignore the caution by many reports/articles which
   have appeared in the media, and by leading personalities such as Michail
   Gorbachev, UN Secretary General, Physician for Social Responsibility,  Dr.
   A Gopala Krishnan, Dr. Balram etc. ?**
   9. Whether the costs, which we need to pass on to the future generations
   (in safeguarding the nuclear waste for thousands of years), justifiable
   since there will be no benefits to these generations?  How many times more
   electricity will the nuclear fuel cycle consume as compared to the
   electricity it can generate in its economic life cycle of about 40 years?
   **
   10. What are all the direct and indirect costs to the society of nuclear
   power as compared to the benefits in a poor country? Are such benefits
   unquestionably higher than the costs?**
   11. Can the nuclear establishment in the country take the public at
   large for complete confidence by sharing all the relevant information?**
   12. How to ensure that all the stake holders are party to carefully
   considered decisions on setting up nuclear power plants?**

————————————————————————–



*Additional Reading Materials*

"Chernobyl 25 years later: Many lessons learned" by Mikhail Gorbachev,
former President USSR

(http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/2/77.full)

"Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer" by Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of
Physicians for Social Responsibility

http://www.helencaldicott.com/books/nuclear-power-is-not-the-answer/

"Why should Jaitapur be made a guinea pig for untested reactor?" by Dr A
Gopalakrishnan, former chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Government
of India

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/comment_why-should-jaitapur-be-made-a-guinea-pig-for-untested-reactor_1520843-all

"The missing safety audits" by Dr A Gopalakrishnan

http://epaper.dnaindia.com/epapermain.aspx?edorsup=Main&queryed=9&querypage=8&boxid=30499718&parentid=139282&eddate=04/26/2011

"Chernobyl, Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment"
by ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, *Volume 1181*

* *"Why A Future For The Nuclear Industry Is Risky" by Peter Bradford,
Former Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory commisison

http://www.iccr.org/publications/risky_Jan07.pdf

"Too hot to handle? The future of Civil Nuclear Power" by Frank Barnaby and
James Kemp, Oxford Research Group

http://www.hindu.com/nic/toohottohandle.pdf

* *"Rush in now, repent later" by Siddharth Varadarajan

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/25/stories/2011042552931000.htm<http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/25/stories/2011042552931000.htm#_blank&gt;
**

"For nuclear sanity" by PRAFUL BIDWAI

(http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20111021282110100.htm)

"Reactors, residents and risk" by  Declan Butler

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110421/full/472400a.html

"Nuclear fault lines run deep" Down to Earth (Issue: Apr 15, 2011)

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/nuclear-fault-lines-run-deep


-- 
Peace Is Doable

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