Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why I am against the nuclear deal with the US

So the US congress has passed the bill to supply nuclear fuel to India. Now why am I cribbing against nuclear energy though it is supposed to be clean, efficient, and the only answer to India’s power woes?

Excerpted from a Reuters release:

“The U.S. House of Representatives gave overwhelming initial approval on Wednesday to a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation accord with India. The approval vote was 359-68 after lawmakers rejected amendments that aimed to put limits on India's nuclear weapons program and were proposed by critics concerned the deal would harm nonproliferation goals. Lawmakers also rejected an effort to defer action until India did more to back U.S. efforts to contain Iran.”

Firstly, those who vote for nuclear power do not know physics. The problem is nuclear waste disposal. Nuclear wastes dumped into the sea have to remain there hundreds of years for it to be free of radiation. No, I won’t be alive then, but may be my grand child’s grandchild might be alive and may be victim to nuclear radiation and the ailments that go with it. In such matters we selfishly think about ourselves and not our children.

On the face of it US has marketed its uranium and made some much-needed money. But the truth is nuclear waste disposal in India is woefully lacking, as pointed out in this article. Excerpt:

“India has also recently suffered a breakdown in its nuclear waste management. Between 1993 and 1995, India suffered 124 "hazardous incidents" at nuclear units. Although none has reached the proportions of the Soviet Union's Chernobyl, a leak at the Tarapur plant near Bombay went undetected for nearly two months in 1995. The leak was determined to have been insignificant, but the nuclear plant was shut down. In addition, the World Watch Institute reported in 1992 that India's record of nuclear reactors was among the worst in the world. The Institute reported India's reactors run only forty per cent of the time and produce merely two per cent of the energy needs despite billions of dollars invested in them.”

Now, with the above record of safety in Indian nuclear reactors, would your grandchild be safe? Radiation can be a silent killer and I do not wish to go into the diseases it can cause, which are too gruesome to mention here. We are a nation that finds ways of flouting the law in innovative ways, can we be trusted with more nuclear fuels? And I am not even mentioning the danger of an arms race with Pakistan.
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