- Need for power: India needs power. Increasing amounts. We aren’t able to provide electricity to the entire country yet, let alone move demand from some non-renewable sources to renewable electricity. It is beyond euphemistic to say India needs power desperately for progress or even basic development. AND industry is growing.
- Threat to environment: If things go as advertised, nuclear power barely makes any imprint on the environment. On the other hand, fuel sources from coal to petroleum all have one distinct disadvantage – pollution. Options like dams are destroying many livelihoods and lives.
- How much will be enough? On the other hand, its not like having a certain amount of electricity generation capacity is going to be enough. We are going to expand exponentially before we can afford to stop for a bit and say, okay, thats quite a bit done.
- Myth of renewable sources. While solar or wind energy is an option, it doesn’t have the capacity to meet our needs. We may, one day get there, but its unlikely that its going to happen any time in the immediate future. Till then, my advice would be to write and read such information in the absence of electricity to get an understanding of its implications.
- Comparative dangers: Here is an article about waste from coal run thermal power plants being more radioactive from that from a nuclear plant. People’s livelihoods are being destroyed in dams and oil refineries have their own set of hazards like fires, slicks, etc. This is the reality of the energy alternatives to nuclear power. On the other hand, nuclear power has delivered well in India with few accidents.
- There are many massive threats to life, including things like the Bhopal tragedy. Massive destruction, or utter unusability of land is not an exclusive feature of nuclear power.
- On the other hand, beginning repairs of any other disaster can begin immediately, unlike a nuclear disaster. Nuclear disasters are likely to outlive us all as a species. Forget individuals, groups, or even countries. That puts a very high price on disaster, because it literally results in the planet becoming smaller and smaller for human use.
- To be fair, the likelihood of such massive threat to the integrity of a plant is very small. Now that we know it is possible, it can still be planned for. There is already newer technology in use that was not present in these plants that provides even more foolproof cooling. Risks can be minimized through learning from these mistakes.
- India in general seems to have far less quakes and stuff. It could be possible to choose sites that hold relatively less inherent risk.
- Indian reactors have functioned without incident through a few natural threats. Notably the earthquake in Gujarat when the reactor functioned efficiently and was a vital source of much needed power in the aftermath. On the other hand, we do have minor accidents which can only be attributed to negligence, which has led to unhealthy risks for employees and immediate vicinities, even though the power plants themselves cannot be faulted. Human error will always be a factor to be working on, and in a country where a “chalta hai” attitude is very common, this cannot be excluded as a significant risk to the world itself, rather than localized as it would be with other methods of power generation.
- Not having nuclear power is not necessarily safer. To be fair, as long as countries pursue nuclear power, it doesn’t matter which country the reactor is based in. Radiation doesn’t stand in visa queues. We could give up on nuclear power in the name of safety and find ourself irradiated because of a failed part in another country.
- The key thing to remember here is standards. It isn’t so much about countries pursuing nuclear power, but about the risk of nuclear catastrophe worldwide coming down. I think toward this end, it can be useful to put aside this debate and first reassess all known reactors in the WORLD for security. This process could give us the confidence we need to have a first hand informed knowledge that can guide our choices on the fate of nuclear power itself in our world.
- I think the private sector should be banned from this market. More than public or private, transparency should be scrupulous. Really impeccable transparency that empowers further wise choice.
- Location and scope: A country not using nuclear power is no guarantee that it will not suffer nuclear hazards. An accident in a neighbouring country can be as bad or worse. Ask Belorussia, who suffered as much, if not more, the consequences of Chernobyl in Ukraine.
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
Latest posts by Vidyut (see all)
- Open letter to the Chief Justice of India - April 13, 2019
- Nationwide Protest by NREGA workers #NREGASangharshMorcha - March 2, 2019
- Repression of Activists cannot stop the second Kisan Long March - February 16, 2019