Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal

This is a widely debated topic these days. It is almost covered daily on all news channel (though I am currently not watching any news, it is easy to guess when it comes to news channels). The topic was quite common in the group discussion rounds of the recruitment procedure. Then why am I writing about it? Well two reasons
1. No other topic 
2. My friend inos (read reverse) suggested it 
         So lets get started......
I'll first put down the benefits of the deal and then obviously comes the disadvantages
Benefits :
The main reasoning given by the governemnt is the power shortage we are facing. Yes definitely we can improve the power scenario by importing nuclear technologies from the developed countries. It is the best possible short term solution for India and it is friendly to the environment (does not emit the green house gases)
A strategic partnership with the United States will always boost trade. So we will see close to 3 billion USD of investment. The deal will also bring in nuclear technologies that were banned in India because of the existing restrictions by the NSG. I had read it in a Times of India article about how the deal would benefit all the different industrial sectors.  The article was a real eye opener. Before reading that I had assumed the deal would only help to ameliorate the starving power sector. But it shows how the deal will benefit the overall Indian economy. It states the import of nuclear technologies will greatly benefit the medical and health care sector. The modern scanning equipments require radioactive isotopes which until now were not allowed in India. The use of nuclear technologies will also enable the different manufacturing sectors to expand rapidly. Another important advantage is India can gain access to super computers(there was some reason mentioned, which i cant recall now). The deal will also give a major boost to the electronics industry. Then of course it will create umpteen empolyment opportunities. Also to use nuclear technology skilled man power is essential and so there will be newer institutes for nuclear technology which would inturn require faculties and thus creating more employment.  Well I got the article from times archives, check it out here
   Now moving on to the potential problems 
Using nuclear power to meet India's enrgy demands is a myopic solution. It does not create the problems arising from a thermal power plant but certainly the problems associated with nuclear waste must be pondered over. Nuclear waste can be hazardous and requires utmost care in disposing. Then there is the problem of a nuclear disaster something like a Chernobyl. Though the possibility of such events has gone down considerably but it is something which cannot be neglected altogether. And if such a disaster occurs it may be the worst event in history of mankind after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. This problem would be even more complicated for India because of its high population density. Then again there are military related issues which are required to be sorted out. I am not aware of what exactly will happen if India tests a nuclear weapon. But I guess it will definitely create bitter relation between India and the NSG. 
So as far as the economic perspective is kept in mind the deal will be beneficial for the Indian economy. Environmentalist will have different views(they usually have :) ). But what I feel irritating is the government's explanation- it will help in meeting our energy demands.  One needs to be far sighted when it comes to energy. We cannot develop solutions only for 3-4 decades. We need to invest in renewable sources and venture out into non conventional energy. Nuclear power is good but it comes at a cost. 
Anyways the deal is almost done......lets hope we see more good!!! 
Thats all guys if you have any more points "for" or "against" please put it up in the comments. 



inos u should atleast comment... ;)



8 comments:

cvraman said...

while it is true that the nuclear deal is a short term solution.. there does not seem to be any alternative solutions.. not is anyone offering a viable one (esp the Left and BJP )

the point is.. until India's thorium fuel cycle comes of age and is practical.. we have to rely on uranium...

so i see this solution as something that lasts for a few decades.. say 20 to 30 years...

after that.. may be the thorium fuel cycle and the unconventional sources will have become advanced enuf to become a serious power source....

Harshad said...

I agree with u CV.. my point is instead of making up the power crisis as reason it is better the government clearly spells out all the pros and cons of the deal. I haven't heard (except for the article) any other reason given by the govt.
As far as thorium based plants are concerned I think these would be operational by 2010 or 2012.
And there has been tremendous progress in renewable sources...what this sector lacks is investment

Thanks for commenting :)

babusyed said...

for more on whats wrong with the deal,http://babusyed.blogspot.com/2008/07/whats-wrong-with-indo-us-nuclear-deal.html

Inos said...

hmm...nice article...
A nuclear leak can be much more disastrous than we can imagine. Conventional fuels only pollute the air (of course, this is no small thing). But radioactive wastes can "poison" an entire area - the soil, the water, the air and make it lifeless. I guess I am being pessimistic, but I just hope that our government is doing the right thing by using nuclear power to tackle the energy crisis.

PS - Thanks for humoring me iased ... ;)

The Genesis of Oblivion said...

i totally agree with cv Raman. the nuclear deal is going to help india a lot atleast for the next 30 years. I personally feel the BJP and Left should try and bring an alternative solution to the energy problem before locking horns with the government for trying to solve part of the problem!!..Nuclear waste disposal is surely a problem but we will get over that hurdle on the way!

Renjith Nair said...

http://renjithmn.wordpress.com/category/current-affairs/a-camouflage-nuclear-deal/

The Crow said...

very thorough analysis.. im afraid the indian government is very short-sighted

Harshad said...

@the crow
thanks for ur comment :)