the CPI(M) said in a statement:
â€œNuclear energy has very little to do with oilâ€”it cannot be used as a substitute for oil; unless the government experts have found a new way to burn uranium directly in cars and buses! On the other hand, natural gas from Iran would insulate India substantively from the oil price shocks. The government has been dragging its feet over the Iran…
This is seriously deluded. The two are different deals and are not substitutes for each other. And do we seriously only want to depend on an energy source that runs via Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even assuming the friendliest possible Governments in these nations, can we actually assume safe and secure delivery of fuel. And having a source of power linked to one country – that hasn’t been particularly stable – seems stupid.
For many developing nations, it is a mode of ensuring that all their peoples can develop — not just those who have money.
â€¢ A total of 441 nuclear power plants are operating around the world in 30 countries and produce 16% of global electricity. These plants represent over 10,000 reactor-operating years of experience. In addition, there are 32 new reactors under construction.
â€¢ The ten countries with the highest reliance on nuclear power are: Lithuania, 80%; France, 78%; Slovakia, 65%; Belgium, 57%; Bulgaria, 47%; Ukraine, 46%; Sweden, 46%; Slovenia, 41%; Armenia, 40%; Switzerland, 39%. The reliance in several other major countries is: Korea, 38%; Japan, 34%; Germany, 30%; UK, 22%; USA, 20%; Russia, 16%.
â€¢ A 500MW coal-fired power station produces almost 320,000 tonnes of toxic waste while a comparable nuclear power station produces about 20 tonnes per annum. The coal-fired facility will release into the atmosphere 4.38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide while the nuclear power station will release 87,600 tonnes. The coal waste will include 2.6 tonnes of uranium and 6.4 tonnes of thorium.
â€¢ There have been more than 12,000 operational years of nuclear power reactor operation during which there has been one nuclear accident â€“ Chernobyl in the Ukraine â€“ which has resulted in loss of life.
I am not suggesting that we use nuclear power to the exclusion of everything else – i would love to see solar or wind energy in action — but harnessing them for mass energy requirements is some time away. Nuclear techologies are tested, relatively safe ( yes i know about Chernobyl), and relatively non polluting. In today’s world where development seems like a very real possibility, we cannot let millions of our fellow citizens live in darkness because of dogma. And the left’s opposition to the deal is nothing but dogma . This is why they are blocking it…
The Left parties have been watching with disquiet the way the UPA government has gone about forging close strategic and military ties with the United States. The Left came out in
strong opposition to the Defence Framework Agreement. As per the agreement, India is taking steps to interlock our armed forces with that of the United States in the name of â€œinteroperabilityâ€. The framework agreement is leading to various steps like the Logistics Support Agreement and the Maritime Cooperation Pact. The Left has been vehemently opposed to the joint military exercises as theone that took place in the Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal. These exercises were held despite the strong protests of the Left parties and the Left Front government of West Bengal. The years 2005 to 2007 have seen a sharp increase in joint exercises between the two armed forces. This is now being extended to the â€œquadrilateralâ€ exercises as desired by the US with Japan and Australia in
the September naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
Not signing the deal because Iraq was invaded by the USA or Iran is threatened by the US, is a bit like not attending the Olympics because China is oppressing the Tibetians, or emmigrating because India has a patchy human rights record (including Nandigram).
Cars and buses aren’t the only thing that need oil. Nuclear power is used to produce electricity. Countries across the world are using nuclear power as an energy source – not to run cars, and buses – but to provide electricity to homes, industries and farms.
But, maybe the Left will like to have the bulk of India in darkness. That way they can revisit Nandigram a zillion times and no one will know.
On the issue of their threat to the UPA government to withdraw support – my suggestion would be to let them. The Government of India cannot exist with support of a Party that doesn’t have the interests of India and Indians at heart.
links worth a look
A Pause in the Indo US Nuclear Agreement
Why we are against the India US Nuclear Deal
Why the CPI(M) and the Left oppose the nuclear deal