OPINION

Is India a Prisoner of the Nuclear Dream?

August 21, 2007
C R Sridhar

The political crisis of the Manmohan Singh government over the nuclear deal was luridly and graphically presented today on the front page of a mainstream English national paper. It showed the crisply turbaned Prime Minister in a vice like grip of the hammer and sickle.

With the CPM threatening to withdraw support to the UPA Government over the N-deal, the Congress is widely perceived as being stabbed in the back by the left parties. This perception is incorrect, as the BJP has also voiced its misgivings about the implications of the deal and denounced the agreement as compromising national security interests of the country. The opposition to the Indo-US agreement has unwittingly united both the left and right spectrum of Indian politics in a coalition of the unwilling. That this coalition is temporary, transient and uneasy could be gleaned by the fact that both the parties have expressed their differing perspectives on the deal, with eyes on the mid term poll, should the UPA government fall. The left parties, for instance, see the agreement as flawed as it paves way for a strategic alliance with US and the danger of India becoming a mere pawn in the great game of US foreign policy. The BJP, while offering stiff opposition to the deal, sees the dark shadow of the Hyde Act falling on the agreement nullifying the Indo-US cooperation if India explodes a nuclear device.

To add to the discomfiture of the Congress led Government; there has been a chorus of dissent from nuclear scientists who expressed their dismay that once India signs the deal she would be at the mercy of the US and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. As P.K. Iyengar, the former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, points out 'where they err is in not understanding that the nuclear deal will not achieve this goal, that we will lose more than we gain through the deal. For one, we are getting neither nuclear fuel nor reactors for free or at a low cost but at the prevailing market price, and this is definitely more than the cost of indigenous nuclear power. Secondly, the promise of nuclear technology rings hollow- it comes too late and offers too little. Today, we are quite self-sufficient in the technology of heavy-water reactors, and are world leaders in the technology of fast-breeder reactors.'

There appears to be consensus on the issue that the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement is essentially about providing additional nuclear generation capability to India. As Dr. Sethi, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, says 'the agreement holds the relatively immediate promise of making nuclear fuel available to India from the international market, thereby enabling it to expand its nuclear programme.' Thus, if India wants to achieve development and growth for its teeming millions, safeguarding energy is a strategic priority.

But fundamental doubts do persist about the false assumptions underlying the use of nuclear power for economic development. Perhaps, the most erudite dissent emerged from Late Amulya K N Reddy who was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science. In his brilliant critique 'False Assumption of Nuclear Deal', Prof Reddy challenged the basic assumptions driving the need for nuclear power and nuclear weapons that underlie India's enthusiasm to seek US cooperation in this field. (False Assumptions of Nuclear Deal- Amulya K N Reddy- EPW- August 27, 2005)

Firstly, there is an erroneous assumption that Nuclear Power is important to India's electricity sector. As Prof Reddy points out, 'this bias is strange because Nuclear Power accounts today a trivial 3% of India's power, i.e., 3,310MW, out of 110000 MW.' 'In fact,' argues Prof Reddy, ' Nuclear Power does not even contribute as much as the 3,595 MW of wind power.' More ominously Prof Reddy concludes, 'the reason why renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, small hydro and biomass) and efficiency improvements are not part of the agreement is probably because they are not backed by lobbies as powerful as the nuclear establishment.' 'It is also possible,' continues Prof Reddy, 'that the real reason for the discrimination in favour of Nuclear Power is its weapons implications.'

Secondly, it is incorrect to assume that India's sluggish contribution of Nuclear power would have been higher had it not been handicapped by material constraints such as non-availability of indigenous cheap uranium for heavy water reactors, the unavailability of enriched uranium for its light water reactors and the inadequacy of heavy water for heavy reactors. Though these factors are important, the real constraint is financial. As Prof Reddy explains, 'Nuclear Power is more expensive, compared to coal based thermal plants for electricity generation.' Thus, even if the material constraints are removed by the Nuke deal, it remains extremely doubtful that India's Nuclear would leap to 20,000 MW in 2020 as planned.

Thirdly, apart from costs other issues militate against the use of Nuclear Power such as safety, toxic nuclear waste disposal, and vulnerability to terrorist hijacking of nuclear material.

Fourthly, the assumption that Nuclear Power is clean environmentally is not valid, as studies have indicated that as an energy tool for decarbonising the power sector, it is limited. There are two points to counter the decarbonisation mantra. It must be borne in mind that carbon emissions come from the power sector (around 45%- in 2000) and emissions from non-power sectors including transport (55%). Thus, even if one were to eliminate carbon emissions from the power sector there would be still significant amount of carbon emissions in the environment. Moreover, even the nuclear route leads to carbon emissions from the nuclear fuel cycles. Thus, a study by Kalipada Chatterjee (Equity and Climate change) indicates that even if the plans for nuclear expansion is successful, the extent of decarbonisation of the power sector remains limited.

Lastly, the perception that India's security is guaranteed by the State becoming nuclear through the possession of nuclear weaponry is hollow, as several authors including Amartya Sen have shown that the security has in fact decreased. Post Pokhran II the demonstration of the bomb has not increased her security vis a vis Pakistan in any real sense, as Pakistan is already a nuclear state. Moreover, any wrong cues sent to Pakistan would start a nuclear race with Pakistan seeking the help of China. There are reports suggesting that China has offered her support to Pakistan to counter the threat posed by India through the nuclear pact with US. Instead of the bomb to enhance her status in the world community, India could profitably exploit her enormous progress in the BPO/software IT sector to leverage the situation to her advantage as she forms a formidable strategic alliance by providing IT back up to major US and European corporations.

India's nuclear ambition is intimately fused with her quest for the great power status in the sub- continent. Increasingly, the bomb lobby- a strategic core group comprising ideologues of Right wing political parties, key scientocrats heading important government departments like DAE and DRDO and strategic experts belonging to think tank foundations- has stridently called for reshaping of India's nuclear policy by aligning the nation to US geopolitical interests. The semantics of the debate on nuclear issues has also altered in favour of 'forming strategic partnership with the world's now incontestably dominant power' and to a more adventurous nuclear armed India which must be different from the self-shackling past. [Unravelling the Self- Image of the Indian Bomb Lobby - Achin Vanaik- EPW-November 20, 2004.]

The terrible tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has cast its long shadows on us as we debate our nuclear future. In the photo archives of Hiroshima there is a photograph of a Japanese lady whose back is completely burnt and with the flesh hanging from her back. This picture tells us more than a thousand words that unethical use of Nuclear power is a Faustian pact with the devil himself.

Sridhar is a Koshy's regular, a Tinto Brass fan, and a cynical Bangalorean
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#1
Sanjay
August 21, 2007
07:33 PM

You're forgetting that all kinds of dual-use technologies are barred from transfer to India, due to the NPT-related laws of Western countries.

So it's not merely that India is suffering from inability to build better reactors using better Western reactor technology, but rather a problem of all sorts of high-technology being denied to India over the NPT dispute.

India's bilateral breakthrough with the US is then paving the way for all sorts of new high-tech transfers to India, including from other Western countries too.

Why should India play second-fiddle to China, which gets unhindered access to all these things from the West?

#2
Dev
August 21, 2007
09:49 PM

To Sanjay,

What guarantee is there that we will get all these dual-use technologies that you speak about after the deal is completed? The deal clearly states that no reprocessing or heavy water production technologies will be offered to India. There is also no guarantee that we will get technologies related to space or other applications in the future, as the deal makes no mention of them at all. So we're just hoping that in the future, we might get them somehow. So what's the use of the deal to us NOW? Zilch.

The deal has to be re-negotiated or cancelled.

#3
Sanjay
August 21, 2007
10:22 PM

Heavy Water and Reprocessing technologies are not the beginning and end of the world. There are plenty of technologies that we can benefit from access to, and more importantly, we will certainly benefit from having more energy to power our economic growth, as well as in establishing trading interaction and relationships where we could never get a foot in the door.

Stop looking for ideality, or for a cake with a cherry on top. The world's not that ideal. If we take this, we'll come out ahead compared to where we are now.

Our alternative of going it alone means that we'll be getting significant commercial nuclear power online by 2040 -- and that's under optimistic projections where everything goes smoothly. We haven't even achieved metallized fuel yet, for a good breeding ratio.

This deal is not intended to be permanent, as coyly commented upon by our own experts and negotiators. That's why so much time was taken in delineating the exit clauses, conditions, etc. But we'll be able to benefit from it in the meantime, until we're ready to go it alone.

All our enemies are loudly clamouring against this deal. The only one silent so far has been China -- but that's because they've decided to use their Indian Communist proxies to go on the attack for them. That alone should tell you about the benefits of this deal.

Yes, when we exit we'll be forced to hand back the equipment, etc, but you can't unlearn technology, and even what we hand back we'll be entitled to compensation for. Also, any US interests in shoring up the deal would force it to respond supportively to our complaints about Chinese-Pak collusion. Otherwise, without any powerful relationships, we've been hollering to the empty wilderness. Where's the point in that?

Sorry, but if you want to convince me against this deal, you'll have to sell me on what our rosy alternative is. Commercial nuclear power by 2040? Bah, it might as well be 2240 at that pace. Who knows how far we'd fall behind in the meantime. I'd prefer to grab this opportunity now, because life isn't waiting for us to sedately catch up.

#4
Dev
August 22, 2007
12:35 AM

So exactly what technology do you think the deal gives us? Enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water production technologies are the most crucial areas in which India needs foreign co-operation. If these are not forthcoming, then what else is left?

Please post the relevant clauses in the agreement where it is stated that the US will provide us with any specific technology related to the nuclear power program.

Besides all this, it has to be kept in mind that even if we do get all the technologies we need from the US, nuclear power by most educated estimates will form only 7-8% of our total energy mix by 2040. So is the deal important enough for us to abandon or limit our nuclear weapons programme because of a measly 8% of total energy generation?

We currently have a very primitive nuclear weapons program: We do not have megaton nukes, we do not have the technology to do subcritical tests using extremely small ( 1 pound TNT equivalent) plutonium amounts, no MIRV technology.
We have to test to ensure that our nukes stay up-to-date with the P5. Do you suggest that we abandon all this in return for a little increase in nuclear energy?

#5
sridhar
August 22, 2007
12:47 AM

Sanjay,
You appear to have missed the main point of the article which is- Is nuclear energy sound option for India? Especially when other energy sources such as wind,solar, coal and hydro exist which are relatively cheaper and safer. Even in the West there are growing concerns that nuclear energy may not be safe and environmentally sustainable.Perhaps,that explains why money is poured for research in alternative forms of energy such as wind and solar.

If the real intention is to obtain nuclear weapons for 'minimal deterrence'then that argument is weak as India has enriched plutonium weapon grade to manufacture close to 100 nuclear weapons each having the destructive capability of the bomb dropped in Hiroshima.

The other point which is glossed over by the government is that the agreement empowers the IAEA to inspect our weapons programme.so even if you are a nuclear hawk it is not clear whether there is a firewall between our civilian programme and our weapons programme.

And lastly, to rephrase your question: Where is the strategic advantage of being tied to US interests and maybe fight proxy wars on their behalf?

#6
Dev
August 22, 2007
12:58 AM

"The other point which is glossed over by the government is that the agreement empowers the IAEA to inspect our weapons programme."



Sridhar, are you saying that the IAEA can inspect our military reactors? I did not find any such mention in the 123 agreement. Nor does it say anywhere in the Hyde Act that our military reactors will be open for inspection.....so frankly, I'm not sure what you're referring to.

#7
Bystander
August 22, 2007
02:18 AM

Sanjay just to bring things upto context..please read the following piece in Indian express..

Forward-looking farce
123 Pact: Deal binds India to Hyde Act whose main objective is to 'halt, roll back and eventually eliminate' India's nuclear capability
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/210944.html

A word dropped, a word inserted and the assurances are fulfilled!
123 Agreement: Mind the gap between the PM's assurances and the text of the deal
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/210846.html

#8
Bystander
August 22, 2007
02:55 AM

Senior nuclear scientists urge MPs to ensure that decisions taken today do not inhibit India's future ability to develop and pursue nuclear technologies for the benefit of the nation.
http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/15/stories/2006081502861100.htm

The Indo -US Nuclear Civilian Deal: Dictate Or Deal?
By: Dr Suvrokamal Dutta
http://www.indolink.com/displayArticleS.php?id=121306083238

#9
Bystander
August 22, 2007
03:00 AM

Why Hyde Act of America denies Indian nuclear sovereignty?
http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/17888.asp

#10
Sanjay
August 22, 2007
08:35 AM

Bystander, the thing is that the Deal doesn't have the power to bind India to the Deal itself, so the question of the Deal binding India to the Hyde Act is a lesser one.

The thing is that India has itself been following all kinds of self-restraints on a voluntary self-imposed basis, for which it has been gaining nothing in return. What good is that?

Like I said, if we exit the Deal at a later date, then the question of any Hyde Act, etc becomes moot. And therein lies the heart of the matter -- this deal is only BILATERAL and therefore lacks the binding ability that an international treaty has. If bilateralism were as strong and binding as global treaties, then there'd be no such thing as the latter, because bilateral deals would be done for everything.

I'd rather we go for a bilateral NPT than sign the global one, because we can withdraw from any bilateral agreement. The deal itself is designed to mitigate disruptive impact on India in the event of a withdrawal.

Obviously the govt isn't going to go around loudly bragging about how it plans to withdraw in the future, but clearly the deal was designed to facilitate just that, and can thus be viewed as temporary in nature.

But what's clear is that the govt should have taken the opposition into confidence and conducted a multi-party dialogue, rather than trying to stick partisan feathers in its cap.

Remember how Cheney negotiated the Dhabol power project deal by having backroom meetings with Sonia. That of course later fell apart, when Shiv Sena took power, and pulled the plug on a deal that they hadn't been consulted on. This move triggered the collapse of the over-leveraged Enron. I'm then wondering if a similar situation couldn't occur with respect to this N-Deal, if the opposition pulls the plug on it because they weren't included in Sonia's backroom dealing with Dick.

#11
sridhar
August 22, 2007
08:41 AM

dear Dev,
The separation into civilian and weapon facility is not that simple as it sounds. Though IAEA is allowed to inspect only our civilian facility there is no guarantee that it would respect our definition of a civilian facility. The problem is IAEA may want to inspect even weapon facilities in order to determine whether the particular facility falls within their juridiction. Thus IAEA may get a back door entry into weapon facility.The sensitive information about our N-weapon development could be leaked out compromising our strategic programme.This aspect was discussed by P.K.Iyengar in his article Controversy over the nuclear deal.

#12
Sanjay
August 22, 2007
08:50 AM

Again, for those adamantly opposing the deal, I think it would be better for them to propose alternatives. It's not clear to me how our present circumstances are better.

As for the charge that India could be made to fight in somebody else's wars, I don't see how. When South Korea, which is the most heavily dependent upon US support is withdrawing its troops from Iraq, then how would a country like India be arm-twisted? By blowing wishes? Come on.

#13
Sanjay
August 22, 2007
08:54 AM

Sridhar, btw, why are you using words like "ambition" and "status" to describe India's motivations? This isn't about ego and stature, it's about basic national security -- preservation of life and limb.

Please don't naively preach self-restraint for India when you can't bring it about in our more belligerent neighbors. Your Neville Chamberlain approach would not be well-remembered if it resulted in tragedy.

#14
sridhar
August 22, 2007
09:58 AM

Sanjay,
Don't be naive. Read the provisions of the Hyde Act which says that the US could pull the plug on the nuke deal if India does not subordinate her interests to US foreign policy.

The opposition to the deal is snow balling into wide spread protest. With the BJP closing ranks with the left parties the opposition represents the broad political spectrum of Indian politics. Now senior scientists have also expressed their disapproval.

If I remember History correctly the maximum damage was caused by the idiot Hitler by his silly aggression.Neville Chamberlain was lesser of the two evils.

#15
temporal
URL
August 22, 2007
10:48 AM

dubya said:

"Extraneous and prescriptive provisions of the Hyde Act are only advisory and will not be my foreign policy," he said.

LINK

no guarantee the lame duck president or is successors won't change their policy outlook

#16
Atlantean
URL
August 22, 2007
12:35 PM

C. R. Sridhar,

Many many disagreements my bro:

Firstly, there is an erroneous assumption that Nuclear Power is important to India's electricity sector. As Prof Reddy points out, 'this bias is strange because Nuclear Power accounts today a trivial 3% of India's power, i.e., 3,310MW, out of 110000 MW.'

So, that 3310 MW is an insignificant amount of power for you. That is a really perverse argument. You must remember we're getting fuel not to gain surplus power generation capacity but to satisfy existing and future demands. 3310MW is a lot of power. By 2031-32 MW, nuclear power is going to provide us 56,000 MW if everything goes well (if the deal is operationalised.) That's a lot of power, definitely not a TRIVIAL number! Please avoid treating these issues using percentages. Use absolute numbers. That will give you a better picture.

More ominously Prof Reddy concludes, 'the reason why renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, small hydro and biomass) and efficiency improvements are not part of the agreement is probably because they are not backed by lobbies as powerful as the nuclear establishment.'

That's an absurd argument! We are selfsufficient in production of solar power and wind power. We dont need any approval from a Solar Suppliers Group or a Wind Suppliers Group. That is the simple reason why renewables are not part of the deal - we're simply not asking the US for them.

A detour:

Solar energy and wind energy are highly overrated. This is in part owing to media hype. Solar energy and wind energy are good to power up small buildings, small towns and villages, remote research centres, space and defence facilties. In their respective domains, solar and wind energy are excellent and should be encouraged.

However, solar and wind energy cannot run large industrial units. Solar cells and windmills have a pathetically low energy density to run high energy consuming units.

India's manufacturing sector is just taking off and as it matures in the next few decades, it is going to need enourmous amounts of energy which can provided from only three sources - hydel, thermal and nuclear energy - all of which have high energy density.

Though these factors are important, the real constraint is financial. As Prof Reddy explains, 'Nuclear Power is more expensive, compared to coal based thermal plants for electricity generation.'

What is so surprising about that? This is nuclear energy and it WILL be expensive. But then, the same argument can be offered to discontinue with solar and wind energy because they too are very expensive. So should we stop generating solar and wind energy because they are expensive compared to hydro and thermal? No, I dont think so!

Thirdly, apart from costs other issues militate against the use of Nuclear Power such as safety, toxic nuclear waste disposal, and vulnerability to terrorist hijacking of nuclear material.

You can strike that off. India has an enviable record in nuclear nonproliferation and safety of nuclear plants. No environmental problem has ever been encountered with our nuclear facilities except horribly bad management of raw Uranium ore in Jharkhand.

Fourthly, the assumption that Nuclear Power is clean environmentally is not valid, as studies have indicated that as an energy tool for decarbonising the power sector, it is limited. There are two points to counter the decarbonisation mantra. It must be borne in mind that carbon emissions come from the power sector (around 45%- in 2000) and emissions from non-power sectors including transport (55%). Thus, even if one were to eliminate carbon emissions from the power sector there would be still significant amount of carbon emissions in the environment. Moreover, even the nuclear route leads to carbon emissions from the nuclear fuel cycles. Thus, a study by Kalipada Chatterjee (Equity and Climate change) indicates that even if the plans for nuclear expansion is successful, the extent of decarbonisation of the power sector remains limited.

India is not going for nuclear power because it wants to decarbonise its power sector. India's power sector is going to be carbon based for decades to come. The primary goal is to meet existing and future energy demand. That is why we are running after every damn source of energy we can find around the world and within the country, including Biodiesel, Ethanol, Fusion energy (remember ITER?) and Gas Hydrates. If nuclear energy helps us in getting a slightly cleaner environment, then well and good.

#17
Atlantean
URL
August 22, 2007
01:22 PM

Sanjay,
Don't be naive. Read the provisions of the Hyde Act which says that the US could pull the plug on the nuke deal if India does not subordinate her interests to US foreign policy.


First,

The US "pulling the plug" is highly unlikely. This is not 1974 when we were clubbed with countries like Pakistan and Iran. Our status has changed many fold. We're now a strategic ally of the US, not yet on par with S. Korea or Australia but getting very close. The US has never done anything to armtwist S. Korea, Japan or Australia to subordinate their interests to US foreign policy. And it is highly unlikely that it will do the same with India.

Second,

We should not be afraid of US pulling the plug. We're not Iraq or Pakistan. Now itself, we are selfsufficient in nuclear power and technology. US technology is going to help advance our technology further. If the US pulls the plug, so be it. We're not a bunch of kids. We can take of ourselves. We could do it in 1974 and we can do it anytime. We could resist the effects of the sanctions after the 1999 tests successfully and we can do it anytime.

Third,

The Hyde Act is not binding on the Indian govt. The Hyde Act is not binding on the US President.

Most of our parliamentarians, fed on a diet of parliamentary democracy with sharing of power between the executive and legislature think that the situation is the same in the United States.

Quite the contrary. The President, ie., the executive is not answerable to the legislature. This is strict separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. The Hyde Act is not binding on the US President.

Neither is it binding on the Indian govt. The Hyde Act is just a legal basis for the 123 Agreement, which IS going to be binding. If tomorrow a US president who is hostile to India comes to power, he's going to dishonour this agreeement by simply not doing what the US is supposed to do under it. This dishonour will reach India in the form of cessation of nuclear fuel supply and withdrawal of spent fuel. That's ALL! What's all the fuss about? They're not going to come and bomb our cities.

Mr. Prakash sab kuch kharab Karat and Mr. Sitaram Yechuri are making an issue out of thin air. Their opposition has more to do with xenophobia of America.

#18
Sanjay
August 22, 2007
05:56 PM

Without a deal, we are in a "plug-pulled" state as it is. So if the plug is pulled on the deal down the road, then how would returning to that state make us worse off than we are now?

As far as India being "enslaved" to the US, I find it extremely unlikely that any Indian govt would be able to defy the Indian public in trying to bow before Washington. You're telling me that parties would ignore the Muslim vote-bank? Wow, anything which can accomplish that would be a magical feat indeed, but I doubt it's possible.

If this deal is to shackle India, then why would Pak be hollering against it, as well as asking for a similar deal from the US? Are we saying that Pak also wants to be shackled? Hardly likely.

#19
Sanjay
August 22, 2007
06:16 PM

Without a deal, we are in a "plug-pulled" state as it is. So if the plug is pulled on the deal down the road, then how would returning to that state make us worse off than we are now?

As far as India being "enslaved" to the US, I find it extremely unlikely that any Indian govt would be able to defy the Indian public in trying to bow before Washington. You're telling me that parties would ignore the Muslim vote-bank? Wow, anything which can accomplish that would be a magical feat indeed, but I doubt it's possible.

If this deal is to shackle India, then why would Pak be hollering against it, as well as asking for a similar deal from the US? Are we saying that Pak also wants to be shackled? Hardly likely.

#20
Bystander
August 23, 2007
04:44 AM

The 'non-binding' myth...as put forward by atlantean....he's as lost as the lost city of atlantis ...
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/18995._.html

#21
sridhar
August 23, 2007
05:38 AM

Dear Atlantean,
Before you disagree with the views expressed in the article, at least try to understand the arguments advanced in the article. While dissent is welcome, I would be grateful if the dissent is well informed. Otherwise, we would be parroting the handouts dished out by the Manmohan Singh Government, the powerful nuclear lobby and of course Uncle Sam.

Now to a detailed response to your comments to my article:

Firstly, your comment ‘By 2031-32 MW, nuclear power is going to provide us 56,000 MW if everything goes well (if the deal is operationalised.)’ is truly mind-boggling. And what are your grounds for such optimism? Have you factored in the financial costs involved in this fantasy? Since you are a stranger to Prof Reddy’s research paper on Nuclear power let me quote his exact words on this aspect-‘ Though the methodology of the least cost planning has been independently developed in India, it appears that the Planning Commission has not worked out such a plan for India. In the absence of such a least cost mix, the choice of energy technologies cannot but be ad hoc and subject to the pressures of the lobbies.’ Significantly, Prof Reddy points out-‘ Nuclear Power becomes cheaper than coal only when unrealistically and unacceptably low interest rates are used.’ In a research paper published by Ramana in 2005 it was found that if the interest rate is more than 3% coal is a cheaper source than Nuclear energy. Now in the emerging scenario of liquidity crunch, can you fund your nuclear fantasy with such low rates of interest? Ah yes! ‘ If everything goes well.’

Secondly, your comment ‘Solar energy and wind energy are highly overrated.’ says who? Maybe your friends from the nuclear lobby. You ignore a simple fact: The comparative contributions of nuclear and wind power show that for all heavy investment in NP the output (3310 MW) has not been great while absurdly low investment in wind power (3595 MW out put) has produced the biggest bang for the buck spent. Have these issues been debated by the media and on the floor of the parliament? What are financial costs of the Nuke? Has the government formulated any integrated energy plan with least cost mix for sustainable development?

Thirdly, your comment ‘India has an enviable record in nuclear nonproliferation and safety of nuclear plants.’ smacks of complacency. Digest this fact-‘In the 1980s, for which data is available, radiation exposures to power plant workers were ten times the world average for each unit of electricity and twice the world average for each monitored worker. As recently as 2003, there have been accidents involving high radiation exposures to workers.’ And as Ashwin Kumar reports ‘On measures of occupational exposure to workers, and compliance with standards for accident prevention, Indian nuclear plants perform poorly.’(Nuclear safety- a Poor record). You are out of sync with reality when you ignore ‘The devastating fire at Narora, the major flooding of Kakrapara, and the collapse of the containment dome at Kaiga are recent examples of failures, details of which remain unavailable to the public, causing deep concern about the hazard potential of our nuclear installations.’ The so-called safety of nuclear has caused intense debate in developed countries. As Vir Narain sums up ‘The Chernobyl disaster, the incidents at Three Mile Island and Windscale raised serious doubts about the viability of fission-based power generation. In the USA, The accident was a watershed event for the US nuclear industry. Seventy-four plants under construction at the time of the accident have since been cancelled. Thirteen plants that were operating when the accident occurred have been permanently closed by their owners. Only fifty-three plants then under construction were completed and placed into service. No nuclear power plants have been ordered since the accident." The Bush administration has changed all that and is heralding the Renaissance of Nuclear Power.’ So much for your pipe dream of safe nuclear energy!

Lastly, your comment ‘The Hyde Act is not binding on the US President.’ stems from an inability to understand complex issues. The 123 Agreement derives its name from section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act. The mistake in basing our understanding of the N-Deal lies in ignoring the implications of the Hyde Act passed in 2006, which says that in the event of Nuclear testing the nuclear cooperation between US and India would end. The waiver to nuclear cap could be granted if India works to thwart Iran in its N-build up which the opposition parties have rightly called as conditions, which impinge on our sovereignty. The agreement 123 cannot be contrary to the legislation passed by US Congress and the lame duck Presidency of Bush would be averse to risk confrontation with the legislature dominated by the Democrats.

#22
sridhar
August 23, 2007
05:56 AM

Dear Sanjay,

'This isn't about ego and stature, it's about basic national security -- preservation of life and limb.'

To set the records straight there is reason to believe that we have enough nuke material for 100 bombs to blast Nagasaki hundred times.So much for the minimum deterrence theory! Remember Pakistan is already a nuclear state and the serious conflicts between both the countries started after India and Pakistan became nuclear.On the contrary, there may arms race between between India and Pakistan(aided by China)which would reduce security in the region.

China has openly expressed fears that US would thwart China's aspirations to become a world power by using India to fight proxy wars on its behalf.This fear is not irrational as the Naval war games have already commenced on our seas.

#23
sridhar
August 23, 2007
05:58 AM

Dear Atlantean,
Before you disagree with the views expressed in the article, at least try to understand the arguments advanced in the article. While dissent is welcome, I would be grateful if the dissent is well informed. Otherwise, we would be parroting the handouts dished out by the Manmohan Singh Government, the powerful nuclear lobby and of course Uncle Sam.
Now to a detailed response to your comments to my article:

Firstly, your comment ‘By 2031-32 MW, nuclear power is going to provide us 56,000 MW if everything goes well (if the deal is operationalised.)’ is truly mind-boggling. And what are your grounds for such optimism? Have you factored in the financial costs involved in this fantasy? Since you are a stranger to Prof Reddy’s research paper on Nuclear power let me quote his exact words on this aspect-‘ Though the methodology of the least cost planning has been independently developed in India, it appears that the Planning Commission has not worked out such a plan for India. In the absence of such a least cost mix, the choice of energy technologies cannot but be ad hoc and subject to the pressures of the lobbies.’ Significantly, Prof Reddy points out-‘ Nuclear Power becomes cheaper than coal only when unrealistically and unacceptably low interest rates are used.’ In a research paper published by Ramana in 2005 it was found that if the interest rate is more than 3% coal is a cheaper source than Nuclear energy. Now in the emerging scenario of liquidity crunch, can you fund your nuclear fantasy with such low rates of interest? Ah yes! ‘ If everything goes well.’

Secondly, your comment ‘Solar energy and wind energy are highly overrated.’ says who? Maybe your friends from the nuclear lobby. You ignore a simple fact: The comparative contributions of nuclear and wind power show that for all heavy investment in NP the output (3310 MW) has not been great while absurdly low investment in wind power (3595 MW out put) has produced the biggest bang for the buck spent. Have these issues been debated by the media and on the floor of the parliament? What are financial costs of the Nuke? Has the government formulated any integrated energy plan with least cost mix for sustainable development?

Thirdly, your comment ‘India has an enviable record in nuclear nonproliferation and safety of nuclear plants.’ smacks of complacency. Digest this fact-‘In the 1980s, for which data is available, radiation exposures to power plant workers were ten times the world average for each unit of electricity and twice the world average for each monitored worker. As recently as 2003, there have been accidents involving high radiation exposures to workers.’ And as Ashwin Kumar reports ‘On measures of occupational exposure to workers, and compliance with standards for accident prevention, Indian nuclear plants perform poorly.’(Nuclear safety- a Poor record). You are out of sync with reality when you ignore ‘The devastating fire at Narora, the major flooding of Kakrapara, and the collapse of the containment dome at Kaiga are recent examples of failures, details of which remain unavailable to the public, causing deep concern about the hazard potential of our nuclear installations.’ The so-called safety of nuclear has caused intense debate in developed countries. As Vir Narain sums up ‘The Chernobyl disaster, the incidents at Three Mile Island and Windscale raised serious doubts about the viability of fission-based power generation. In the USA, The accident was a watershed event for the US nuclear industry. Seventy-four plants under construction at the time of the accident have since been cancelled. Thirteen plants that were operating when the accident occurred have been permanently closed by their owners. Only fifty-three plants then under construction were completed and placed into service. No nuclear power plants have been ordered since the accident." The Bush administration has changed all that and is heralding the Renaissance of Nuclear Power.’ So much for your pipe dream of safe nuclear energy!

Lastly, your comment ‘The Hyde Act is not binding on the US President.’ stems from an inability to understand complex issues. The 123 Agreement derives its name from section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act. The mistake in basing our understanding of the N-Deal lies in ignoring the implications of the Hyde Act passed in 2006, which says that in the event of Nuclear testing the nuclear cooperation between US and India would end. The waiver to nuclear cap could be granted if India works to thwart Iran in its N-build up which the opposition parties have rightly called as conditions, which impinge on our sovereignty. The agreement 123 cannot be contrary to the legislation passed by US Congress and the lame duck Presidency of Bush would be averse to risk confrontation with the legislature dominated by the Democrats.

#24
Atlantean
URL
August 23, 2007
07:00 AM

C. R. Sridhar,

I think its better to agree to disagree with you. Some of your points (on costs, on solar and wind), accusations and allegations (that I'm fantasizing and that I'm out of sync with reality) are so ridiculous that I dont even want to waste my precious time in rebutting you. Just one last time, I want to say that my "fantasies" come from reports from the Planning Commission, the highest planning authority in India for generation of power, and not Letters to Penthouse.

I am an electrical engineer and I'm well aware of the costs and benefits of different forms of power and my conviction that nuclear power is good for India comes from that awareness. My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities. Engineers also consider the social, economic and political ramifications of their projects when they take up one. Your condesceding remarks like "your comment 'The Hyde Act is not binding on the US President.' stems from an inability to understand complex issues" are uncalled for.

I have written enough in #16 and #17 and if they havent convinced you, no probs. I have time for better things.

Tata!

#25
Bystander
August 23, 2007
08:13 AM

C'mon atlantean don't turn tail and run...

#26
Bystander
August 23, 2007
08:18 AM

I'm sorry Atlantean i disagree with your remark addresed to Sridhar"My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities."...on the contrary see #8
Senior nuclear scientists urge MPs to ensure that decisions taken today do not inhibit India's future ability to develop and pursue nuclear technologies for the benefit of the nation.
http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/15/stories/2006081502861100.htm

#27
Bystander
August 23, 2007
08:21 AM

That statement by senior nuclear scientists has been signed by amongst other people :

Dr. H.N. Sethna, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. M.R. Srinivasan, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. P.K. Iyengar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board; Dr. S.L. Kati, former Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation; Dr. A.N. Prasad, former Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre; Dr. Y.S.R. Prasad, former Chairman & Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation; and Dr. Placid Rodriguez, former Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.

who are you bull-shitting atlantean?...

#28
Bystander
August 23, 2007
08:25 AM

About "Letters to Penthouse" Atlantean ...we'd much rather read and enjoy Penthouse than the stuff you've posted earlier in the week about the nuclear issue....atleast Penthouse has no intellectual pretensions....

#29
Bystander
August 23, 2007
08:27 AM

About "Letters to Penthouse" Atlantean ...we'd much rather read and enjoy Penthouse than the stuff you've posted earlier in the week about the nuclear issue....atleast Penthouse has no intellectual pretensions....

#30
Chandra
August 23, 2007
08:43 AM

Sridhar -23

Firstly, I dont care much for the deal because deal or no deal will not solve India's problems. But here is a response to some of your statements

- Cost of setting up 56000 MW by 2030: $ 336 B (@ $ 2000 per MW and 5% Inflation). This is not a huge amount because, the GDP itself is expected to 5 trillion by that time and secondly that $ 336 B will be spent over 20 years

- You are right about nuclear power being costlier than other sources

- Solar energy has still a long way to go gor two reasons- Cost, Technology. However as panel quality improves, this should come down. How long this will take nobody knows

- Wind is increasingly picking up pace and should be adopted by India. However will not be a major source

- India does have an excellent record of non-proliferation. Indian record on safety is not great but not bad either.

- Ashwin Kumar's report does not have sources mentioned. While it is true that leakages have led to impacting workers and citizens, the scale has been minimal. Most information in his reports is anectdotal

For example: The fire at Narora Atomic power plant had nothing to do with the nuclear cycle. Instead it was the blades of a turbine that failed. Having said that, the NAPS incident significatly impacted how the AEC takes care of its power plants

- Your example of the US of course is in contrast to the experience of the French, the British and the Japanese who utilise large quantities of Nuclear power

- You are right about the Hyde Act. But here is a problem in other parts of your interpretation. There are no punishments if the US cannot persuade other countries to stop supplying nuclear resources to India. One interesting aspect of teh deal is that India is likely to buy more from France, Australia, Russia and Japan rather than the US itself. Secondly, the key question is if there is no deal, will we test? why?

- The Iran issue is a critical component - Binding or non-binding. But will the Yanks have the guts to cut of a deal because we built a pipeline to Iran? No way......

rgds

#31
Bystander
August 23, 2007
09:45 AM

Ladies and gentlemen...please observe the "i know better than thou" adopted by Atlantean.He says"..I am an electrical engineer and I'm well aware of the costs and benefits of different forms of power and my conviction that nuclear power is good for India comes from that awareness."

He knows does he?...Lets expose this bull-shit from this know-all once and for all...

Ladies and gentlemen please read this excellent paper published in the EPW.Its titled"Economics of Nuclear Power from Heavy Water Reactors"
"Using a discounted cash flow methodology, this paper performs a detailed analysis of the
current costs of electricity from two of the Department of Atomic Energy’s heavy water
reactors. It compares these costs to that from a recently constructed coal-based thermal
power plant. The cost so computed is a sensitive function of the discount rate (a measure of
the value of capital) used and the results show that for realistic values of the discount rate,
electricity from coal-based thermal power stations is cheaper than nuclear energy."
Its written by M V RAMANA, ANTONETTE D’SA, AMULYA K N REDDY...people far more scholarly than our patronising know-all Atlantean who just makes his silly assertions.
here's the link..

http://www.epw.org.in/epw/uploads/articles/533.pdf

#32
Atlantean
URL
August 23, 2007
09:57 AM

Bystander,

C'mon atlantean don't turn tail and run...

Heh! Run?

You said:

I'm sorry Atlantean i disagree with your remark addresed to Sridhar"My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities."...on the contrary see #8
Senior nuclear scientists urge MPs to ensure that decisions taken today do not inhibit India's future ability to develop and pursue nuclear technologies for the benefit of the nation.
http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/15/stories/2006081502861100.htm


Nice try. Now please read my para in its entirety:

I am an electrical engineer and I'm well aware of the costs and benefits of different forms of power and my conviction that nuclear power is good for India comes from that awareness. My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities. Engineers also consider the social, economic and political ramifications of their projects when they take up one.

C. R. Sridhar's opposition to the Indo-US deal comes from his belief that nuclear energy itself is bad. That's what I was responding to - the notion that nuclear energy itself is bad. That's why I started the para with the sentence "I am an electrical engineer and I'm well aware of the costs and benefits of different forms of power and my conviction that nuclear power is good for India comes from that awareness. " And when I said "My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities", I meant that my opinions are in concert with the nuclear scientists and engineers who ALSO think that nuclear energy is good for India. None of the nuclear scientists and engineers that I refer to have any problem with nuclear energy basically. Some of them have problems with the deal (as your article shows) but not nuclear energy itself! NOwhere in their appeal to their parliamentarians do the scientists and engineers say that nuclear energy is bad. C. R. Sridhar does. That's also why I ended the para with:

Engineers also consider the social, economic and political ramifications of their projects when they take up one.

To say that nuclear scientists and engineers are well aware of the social, economic and political ramifications of nuclear energy.

All this I said because I want to express that there is a very good case for nuclear energy if so many scientists and engineers are in favour of it.

Hope that clears things up.

About "Letters to Penthouse" Atlantean ...we'd much rather read and enjoy Penthouse than the stuff you've posted earlier in the week about the nuclear issue....atleast Penthouse has no intellectual pretensions....

Please go ahead. Why waste your time on my "intellectual pretensions"?

#33
Bystander
August 23, 2007
10:37 AM

after reading your stuff it might not be a bad idea Atlantean;)

#34
Bystander
August 23, 2007
10:39 AM

"None of the nuclear scientists and engineers that I refer to have any problem with nuclear energy basically."

who are the people??...another assertion...

#35
Bystander
August 23, 2007
10:39 AM

"None of the nuclear scientists and engineers that I refer to have any problem with nuclear energy basically."

who are these people??...another assertion...

#36
Bystander
August 23, 2007
10:43 AM

Sridhar has raised issues of economics and safety.If those things are addressed i don't think he would have anything against nuclear energy.He is more concerned about a lack of proper national debate.

#37
Bystander
August 23, 2007
10:46 AM

Sridhar..please clarify...are you against nuclear energy?

#38
Chandra
August 23, 2007
11:58 AM

Atlantean

Good show mate.

#39
Atlantean
URL
August 23, 2007
01:36 PM

Bystander,

Be my guest :)

who are the people??...another assertion...

Bah! Those who work in the plants.

Chandra,

Thanks for the encouragement dude :)

#40
hist
August 23, 2007
02:20 PM

@Atlantean - Great info! Thanks dude.
Those who are opposing the deal are doing so either because of their dislike for USA or because they like china (leftists). In both cases it is prejudice which is not allowing them to see the true picture.

#41
Lakshmikanth
URL
August 24, 2007
12:08 AM

Just to add **a bit off-topic**:


http://www.iht.com



Here is one paper that hates the progress India has made. It hates that it cannot claim to give aid to those "poor" indians anymore. It hates the development india has achieved and it understandably is leftist.

This is one condescending piece of shit every Indian should read, for the benefit of knowing the enemy and actively targeting and destroying them.

#42
Chandra
August 24, 2007
01:05 AM

Laxmi

Actually it is not the paper. It is a journalist by the name Somini Sengupta. What she does is present negative news as she feels that the rest of the media outlets only provide positive news about India.

rgds

#43
Lakshmikanth
URL
August 24, 2007
01:17 AM

Its not only negative mate.. its sooo onefuckingsided that u feel like you are DESTINED to live in communist poverty. Its more like being an indian is a BIG sin, its a big fucking dark patch on your ass that you are an india. HOW dare you develop hah? How dare you turn away from your destined doom in the hands of rabid socialist communists???

I should have guessed by that name that she is a rabid leftist.

I do agree that we have a LOOOONg way to go with respect to poverty.. but i take serious objection to the leftist and communist portrayal of an indian as being destined to be poor without any chance of controlling his destiny.

THe controllers of destiny according to indian leftsts lie at the hands of their biological fathers who belong in their father land: Russia and China :).. those motherfuckers :)

#44
sridhar
August 24, 2007
05:39 AM

Dear Atlantean,
Have you published research papers subject to peer review on the issues on Nuclear power? I am asking this question as you claim to be an expert on this subject contradicting Amartya Sen,Amulya Reddy,M.V Ramana(a scholar at Princton),and Jinzabaru Tagaki(an expert who blew the claim that Nuke power reduces co2 emissions). The article posted by me relied on these these authorities.

Your comment 'All this I said because I want to express that there is a very good case for nuclear energy if so many scientists and engineers are in favour of it.' is most extraordinary as it challenges the observation of Eintein who said 'since i do not forsee that atomic energy is to be a great boon for a long time, i have to say that for the present it is a menace.'Even today there is considerable controversy on Nuke power as safe power in Europe with the Greenpeace movement challenging the Nuke lobby.

And lastly, what gives you the arrogance to assume that if you are Pro American you are also Pro Indian?


#45
sridhar
August 24, 2007
05:52 AM

Dear Chandra,
Your comment'But will the Yanks have the guts to cut of a deal because we built a pipeline to Iran? '

Manmohan Singh raised doubts about the economic feasability of the Iran-India pipeline. Why no doubts are being raised on the feasability of going nuclear when studies are available on this issue?
Are we positive patriotic Indians when we stick our necks like an ostrich in nuclear waste and say it is yummy?

#46
Chandra
August 24, 2007
06:24 AM

Sridhar

Manmohan Singh not only raised doubts about the pipeline but also replaced Mani Aiyar with Murli Deoras. Murli Deoras BTW was the head of India-US parliamentrians council or something like that.

It is alos not suprising that Manmohan was the preferred candidate for the US when Narasimha Rao had to choose a FM.

It will alos not suprise you to note that, one of the first acts after becoming PM was to sign the defence framework agreement.

It will also not surprise you that we voted against Iran twice even though we could have abstained.

It will also not suprise you that MM Singh spent some critical years in Washington during the early 1980s. Who he came in touch with and what he did there, nobody knows.....we should investigate though.

rgds

#47
Sanjay
August 24, 2007
08:38 AM

Sridhar wrote:
Thirdly, your comment "India has an enviable record in nuclear nonproliferation and safety of nuclear plants." smacks of complacency.

Why did you lump safety and nonproliferation together, when your subsequent arguments only listed safety issues? What are you alleging about India's nonproliferation record? India hasn't proliferated to anybody, as you imply.

Again, the fact is that India's power needs must be met, and I don't see any prospect of that happening, in spite of the existence of other technologies. Nuclear is the only way.

Solar and wind power are too fleeting and lack power-density. Hydro requires massive investment and is also quite disruptive to the environment.

#48
Rang dey basanti
August 24, 2007
10:31 AM

'I am an electrical engineer and I'm well aware of the costs and benefits of different forms of power and my conviction that nuclear power is good for India comes from that awareness. My opinions are in concert with all those nuclear scientists and engineers who are currently working in India's nuclear power plants and research facilities.'

Say pal stop bulshitting! May be you can con your cronies who are gullible. For a starter have you read the Integrated Energy Policy 2006, Planning Commission?

In a recently concluded study the energy experts (Delhi science Forum) have said that N energy will cost 3 times more than coal.

They have challenged the hyped up figures of the govt saying that India would be producing 40,000 MW as over optimistic and note this even after this hyped up target is achieved, Bharat hamara still gets less than 9%. So Pal where is the balance going to come from?- oil and gas.The have quoted Planning Commission as admitting that they have been over optimistic and the real contribution of Nuke power would be in the range of 3-5% to the total energy basket.

So electrical man what does that tell you? Well for one- for 3-5% increase in energy supply can we say it is going to be significantly strategic to economic growth? Can't we reduce distribution/ line losses and use other forms of energy tobridge the gap? Prabir Pukayastha a renowned energy expert says we can.

So if nuke energy is not so important for economic growth why grovel before uncle Sam? Or do your patriotic flag waving cronies feel that by being suckers to Uncle Sam and the nuke lobby we become patriotic Indians?

#49
Rang de basanti
August 24, 2007
10:39 AM

Hist,
@Atlantean - Great info.
What info pal? And by dicking along with Uncle Sam and nuke corporations and bankruping Bharat how come you guys are patriots?

#50
Rang dey basanti
August 24, 2007
10:51 AM

Lakshmikanth,

'we have a LOOOONg way to go with respect to poverty.. but i take serious objection to the leftist and communist portrayal of an indian as being destined to be poor without any chance of controlling his destiny.'

You remind me of your clone - Senator Macarthy- who saw the red devil even under his bed.The fucker was comic relief at first but afterwards they shut him up for good in a loony bin.

#51
Rang dey basanti
August 24, 2007
11:04 AM

Sajay,
Hey dude grow up!
If workers get radiated it is a matter for concern- remember they are Indians.And if India arms itself with deadly nuke there would be arms race in the sub-continent.Pakis would love to get the nuclear goodies from China.

You need a good comic book on the nuclear issue as your powers of comprehension is limited.

#52
Rang dey basanti
August 24, 2007
11:04 AM

Sajay,
Hey dude grow up!
If workers get radiated it is a matter for concern- remember they are Indians.And if India arms itself with deadly nuke there would be arms race in the sub-continent.Pakis would love to get the nuclear goodies from China.

You need a good comic book on the nuclear issue as your powers of comprehension is limited.

#53
Sanjay
August 24, 2007
11:57 PM

Rang de:

Access to overseas technology will not make the Indian nuclear industry less safe, but MORE safe. I don't need your comicbook education to know that.

So you can go on a suicide-bombing crusade along with your midget hero Amir Khan. But meantime I'll go for sustainable energy development.

#54
Lakshmikanth
URL
August 25, 2007
10:55 PM

OOOOO Rang De,

That was a hot comment aint it? Did ur dad from russia write to u, my dear patriotic stalinist revolutionary?

You know what destroys the world??? Rabid Fanatics, you know Clowns like [EDITED] and clowns like Stalin, Hitler, Mc Carthy etc etc.

If your [EDITED] could not figure that out then u are not worth debating with :).

Go take ur froth filled hate on [EDITED] will you? While we grown up men and women decide what is good for us?

Do a good study on economics and then comment on issues, that is if you know how to read and comprehend which requires a strong basis in logical analysis :) There are good books in economics in Russian Language and Chinese Language if mr. rand de needs them. After all no book is good enough if its not in the father tongue ehh?

After you do a good analysis on economics and the prospects of globalisation, let your patriotic dick rise and the world would prolly listen to what you have to say. Otherwise (which i think will be the case) u can put it in the leftist's ass, They are sure to enjoy it Sri rang de or Sri rand de or whoever u are :)

Here is a good starter book for economically/politically illiterates like you, Sri rand de: Animal Farm, George Orwell.

Now for ur nuclear question: Where is the remaining energy gonna come from? Mr rand de, let me give u a little education:

1) Nuclear Power "Mr RAND", is indeed an expensive option, but we must ask the question expensive with relation to what? If you look into the concept of economics called demand and supply, the price that is determined for any commodity rests in the demand supply curves (ofcourse leftists stalinist patriots like mr rand and other mofos do not believe that such a thing exists as demand and supply :) but neverthless). If there is high demand and low supply costs are high, and ofcourse mr rand, u would not have the logic to figure out but the logic goes otherways too :)

2) Now Mr rand, if u take ur brain and [EDITED] out of that leftist shit hole of yours, you would realize that india is developing like crazy, jobs are created, new companies are created acquisitions are made both outward and inward looking. In such a case the energy demand is going to go up like crazy, which means there is going to be a demand acceleration [i guess you would lose the logic from here but u can go stick ur [EDITEd] in that leftist shit hole again if u dont want to read any further] Now if there is no supply acceleration mr rand, there would be a price explosion and the economy would correct its growth rate, which would drop to the leftist levels which was pre 1991 when the communists were happy that the entire india was a shit hole.

3) because of the above two reasons AND because of the limited nature (i.e. limited supply) of oil/gas/coal plus increase in deamand from china on the same thing would PULL UP the oil/gas/coal energy prices to be about the SAME as nuclear fuel IN THE NEAR future, if [EDITED] is out of that shit hole and u have logic in [EDITED] brain u would know what i mean.

4) Hence your COST argument for nuclear energy HOLDS NO water. Its an economically illiterate argument and is a pipe dream to assume that oil energy would be as cheap as it is 10 years from now.

5) it then makes sense as far as the enviornment etc is concerned to depend more on nuclear energy as it would HEDGE our energy supplies from demand spurts and unforseen events disrupting the supply.

Idiotic stalinists patriotic mofos like mr Rand wont get to know what i am talking about. Nuclear energy is costly... my foot :)

#55
sridhar
August 26, 2007
03:39 AM


Hi Bystander,

Thank you for your comments.

The opposition to nuclear energy stems from two angles (a) That Nuclear Power is a clean source of energy and economically sustainable is shrouded in controversy and (b) That through the nuclear civil cooperation with US India would be able to arm herself with nuclear weaponry is nave based on global realities.

I based my argument on research papers published by respected scholars on nuclear energy who taught at premier scientific institutes. I am happy to say just after two days of posting the article there was a detailed coverage in the Asian Age challenging the assumptions of NP being of strategic importance to India's economic growth. The number crunching was done by technocrats and recognised energy experts who have published their findings in the national interest. The conclusions are that NP would not contribute more than 3-5% to the energy output and therefore would not significantly add to our energy growth.

Moreover, the cost of nuclear energy would be three times more expensive than coal. In addition the cost of building imported reactors (as the Indo US deal envisages) would be more expensive than building domestic reactors. But the more damaging point to emerge in the study is the 100% increase in the cost to the consumers. Contrary to scientific findings, NP is touted as being clean ignoring the fact that its introduction entails considerable safety hazards including disposal of toxic wastes (the west tries to dump its wastes in third world countries).

On the Political ramification of the N-deal enough information is available on the issue. As I wrote in my article there is consensus uniting both the left and the Right that the agreement would barter away our sovereignty to foreign powers.

There are also concerns that both India and Pakistan would be sucked into an arms race bankrupting both the countries and solely benefiting the weapons dollar complex.

I think it is extremely patriotic to point out the dangers ahead in the deal and initiate a vigorous debate in the parliament. I feel that necessary amendment should be carried out in our constitution to prevent the executive from seeking ratification of the deal without the concurrence of the parliament.

It is also important that vociferous flag waving Indians espousing US geopolitical ambitions in India and claiming to be the true patriots should not hijack the debate. Dissenting voices such as Prof Reddy should be heard and I dare suggest that they may be the real patriots that our country needs.

#56
sridhar
August 26, 2007
04:19 AM

Chandra,
'Manmohan Singh not only raised doubts about the pipeline but also replaced Mani Aiyar with Murli Deoras.'
Why because Mani Aiyar supported the Iran India pipeline as promoting the oil security interests of India which opposed US interests in the region?
Murli is rekoned to be quite flexible and pragmatic on this issue.

When you refute Ashwin Kumar's report( a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment) as 'anecdotal'it means that you have not read the report in detail. The report is supported by the findings of the Nuclear Energy and Public Safety' was held in Delhi, co-sponsored by the India International Centre and the findings of a book titled Nuclear Energy and Public Safety, edited by Dr Vinod Gaur (incidentally one of the earliest members of the Indian Humanist Union) was published after the seminar, with contributions from about twenty eminent scientists, academicians and others.

When you allege that the risk from nuclear radiation on workers is minimal without citing dissenting scientific opinion aren't you being anectodal yourself?
'The fire at Narora Atomic power plant had nothing to do with the nuclear cycle. Instead it was the blades of a turbine that failed. Having said that, the NAPS incident significatly impacted how the AEC takes care of its power plants.'
If the blades of the turbine fail in a N- facility it constitutes grave threat to the safety of the facility. Period.

#57
Bengaluru krisnamachari
August 26, 2007
08:30 AM

[EDITED - IRRELEVANT]

#58
Rang basanti
August 27, 2007
10:44 AM

say chandra,
'But will the Yanks have the guts to cut of a deal because we built a pipeline to Iran? No way......'
How could you be so sure? Are you another foreign policy expert spouting wisdom ? Your pal uncle Sam has bombed Iraq to stone ages. One million dead? Anyway Sardarji has abandoned the pipe line.

#59
rang basanti
August 27, 2007
10:51 AM

Say sanjay,
'I don't need your comicbook education to know that.'

Don't take it too personally.If comics can widen your metal horizon-what's the harm in taking help?

#60
Rang Basanti
August 27, 2007
11:00 AM

Saaaay Lakshmikaanth,
'Did ur dad from russia write to u, my dear patriotic stalinist revolutionary?'

what about your dad pal? Any family links with mentally retarded cuban mafia in Florida who sure fire bombed their way through all the dope deals?

#61
Rang basanti
August 27, 2007
11:12 AM

Sanjay,
'So you can go on a suicide-bombing crusade along with your midget hero Amir Khan. But meantime I'll go for sustainable energy development.'

Sure Amir Khan is a real midget when it comes to Uncle Sam's bombing exploits- remember shock and awe pal? you thinkin of standing tall with sam?

Sustainable energy development? Another ace up your sleeve? or is it your hot air to the rescue of Bharat's energy needs?

#62
Lakshmikanth
URL
August 27, 2007
11:13 PM

Rand,

did i touch a raw nerve dear, go sleep in your mud house having wet dreams about stalin and how he did what he did and why u are walking on planet earth because of him.

If u read my comment and u have some brain, which stalin's genes lack, we can continue the discussion. Or else we can keep on insulting each other.. .Ad Hominem 101... Rand DE stalinson :)

#63
Chandra
August 28, 2007
12:58 AM

RDB: How could you be so sure? Are you another foreign policy expert spouting wisdom ? Your pal uncle Sam has bombed Iraq to stone ages. One million dead? Anyway Sardarji has abandoned the pipe line.

Chandra: How can anybody be sure?

#64
D.Giridhar
August 28, 2007
08:40 AM

Hi Sridhar,
After going through the blog i thought i should add my comments as i knew Prof.Reddy and his family.moreover his eldest of the three daughters studied in the same college as i did and we are all friends even to date.
Just to inform you that your article is very rich tribute to Prof.Reddy and his contributions in the field of Electro-Chemistry and for a long time he was a visiting Prof at the Princeton university.His monumental work in Electr-Chemistry won him fantastic tribute round the world and mind you even till date his book is the standard refernce text book in Electro-chemistry.
I also owe him a great deal for educating me on alternative science and technology and why we should always think of the the very poor in India who cannot afford energy.
He was also responsible for showing me in innumerable ways why we should avoid Nuclear energy.
Please ensure you read his master piece "Energy for a sustainable world".I'am getting you the other book one of these days where he has contributed an article on 'Energy issues' and what a fantastic article it is specially when you read in the current context.
I owe Prof Reddy a lot because he also took a lot of initiatives in introducing me to a gamut of readings on science and one of them was J.D.Bernal's Science in History.he was responsible for introducing me to Monthly Review Press's famous book called Man's worldly Goods and off course books by Paul.A.Baran and Sweezy.I recall him introducing me to Noam Chomsky's book on 'At War With Asia'.He was a great admirer of both Chomsky and Edward Said.Amazingly he also introduced to Hobsbawm's first books published by penguin in India.
Prof.Reddy was a moving encyclopedia on matters relating specially on Energy issues.None could match his home work and mathematical models he had worked on.
Nevertless let me once again congartulate you on paying such a rich tribute to Prof. Reddy.
I only wish he was alive and i would have introduced you to him.

#65
Rajkumar Kukreja
August 28, 2007
08:56 AM

Dear Sridhar,

I admire your well-researched articles, though I believe that you base them on premises that I do not agree with. But this time I agree with what you have written wholeheartedly. Specially your conclusion. Frankly the 123 agreement is not really about nuclear energy. But about'

'India's nuclear ambition is intimately fused with her quest for the great power status in the sub- continent. Increasingly, the bomb lobby- a strategic core group comprising ideologues of Right wing political parties, key scientocrats heading important government departments like DAE and DRDO and strategic experts belonging to think tank foundations- has stridently called for reshaping of India's nuclear policy by aligning the nation to US geopolitical interests'

Unfortunaly the terms of the deal- specially the conditionalities of the hyde Act- does not accord us this status. If we could have built up this capacity despite opposition from US and the Nuclear Suppliers Group so far, surely we can wait for a few more years to get a better deal for fuel supply. As pointed out by you, nuclear power is just a small dream. Unfortunately, we have become a prisoner of our own argument and have negotiated an agreement which neither admits us as a dignified member of the Nuclear club nor makes us self-sufficient in nuclear power(which was a pipe-dream anyway)

#66
renewIndia
August 28, 2007
11:56 AM

Hi Sridhar, thx a lot for the article. And I appreciate your exhaustive research work:

1. There is a lot of romanticism abt the renewables amongst scientific community, this great idea of uplifting poor, dream of a revived village community and ofcourse the naive Indian left championing the renewables on a third world platform. Recently our proverbial Frontline left friend columnist opposed the deal based on ethical grounds of possessing nuclear weapons, Im reminded of the anti-nuclear green marches in Germany where you only saw white bearded hippie Germans marching with placards. I find it quite ignorant for Indian left intellectuals to identify so strongly with European peaceniks!!! This is not to say that we should go on a nuke binge but lets not talk morality YET in the Indian context, we are far from being capable of wrecking any damage even on our small neighbours, so lets not share the 'big bully's guilt, and thts why no matter how much u quote Sweezey western left has lost moral grnd in most parts of the wrld except stupid India. Sweezey never rocked the boat.

2. So the renewable sector is not that rosy as its made out to be it is yet to be proven economic and viable for Indian context apart frm bio-gas and solar. Im alarmed that windmills are being built all arnd the countryside with little research done on the relevance and long-term sustainability in terms of economics. Here we have a dangerous combination of Western 'moral narrative' abt 'saving the planet' where they live in, while we suffer in third world...so we have to be careful ABOUT ADOPTING RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES and we also have to setup national task force looking at our own energy needs, tidal, hydro or solar not engineered by third rate western foundations.

3. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY WE CANT FOCUS ON COAL WHICH PROVIDES NEARLY 60% of our electricity needs?? We can engineer and develop cleaner technologies and revitalize our public sector which have too many 'Sweezey reading lefties' to do some serious work. Please dont support the lazy left!!!

4. Why this push on us to go non-fossil whn US is still the largest emitter??? I mean the reductions are meagre and wht we need is more reduction by the western world to make place for us. We are aware that they want to sell us clean technologies where they enjoy certain competitive advantages.

#67
sridhar
August 28, 2007
11:18 PM

Dear Giridhar,

Though I had not met Late Prof Reddy, I heard a lot about his awesome reputation as a scholar on the subject of renewable energy resources through friends like you. In a way, I am indebted to you for introducing me to Prof Reddy's significant contribution on the issue of employing sustainable energy resources for economic development.

He represented the last of Public Intellectuals who fearlessly wrote against special interests and who owed (in the words of Edward Said)no allegiance to the Govt or Corporations.

In his death we have lost a true Indian Patriot.

#68
sridhar
August 28, 2007
11:29 PM

dear Rajkumar,
Thank you for your detailed comments on the article.

It not necessary to agree with all the views expressed in the articles written by me but to keep the dialogue going. It is honest differences of opinion that make blogging interesting!

#69
sridhar
August 29, 2007
12:16 AM

Dear RenewIndia,

Thank you for your feedback.There are two interesting points raised by you:

1.CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY WE CANT FOCUS ON COAL WHICH PROVIDES NEARLY 60% of our electricity needs?

2. Why this push on us to go non-fossil whn US is still the largest emitter??? I mean the reductions are meagre and wht we need is more reduction by the western world to make place for us.

Both the points are very valid to the debate and require articulation.

I think what India needs is a think tank drawn from the talent available in our country firmly supported by the people and the Govt. The important agenda for this group would be to map out strategies regarding trade negotiations with WTO,employing cost effective energy mix for sustainable development and entering into partnerships with world powers on ethical basis.

The think tank would think India. This would counter the business lobby in our country who hijack economic debates to suit their narrow class interests and who are eager to serve mertopolitan capital as junior partners.

#70
RenewIndia
August 29, 2007
07:25 AM

Its great that you raised the topic of our chambers of commerce, CII, FICCI...how can we have people who just have ordinary minds with high pretensions, extremely mediocre guys...to engineer discourse on key sensitive national issues. This FICCI, CII have some great names who blabber away on TV and their economics knowledge is stuck in the 60s when they studied. But lets check their publications and contribution to economics??How can a body like N reprimand Indian educational system, what have they done apart from getting tax-breaks from the government??? Why is it the private sector expects government to invest heavily in education while they enjoy the fruits??? Let me assure you most academics enjoy working far more in government educational institutions than the private colleges, purely because of the respect they enjoy.
Iam sick and tired of chambers of commerce representing India's interests and staffed with low-level cunning opportunists, but Sridhar they served good pakoras and the drink is ready on time...CII organizes some great fashion shows in Cannes!!! So they have some merit. We have a structure of governance and administration, policy thinktanks and then we grovel before lobbyist organizations. Lets get this straight these are lobbyist organizations who represent business interests and nothing more...WEST BENGAL CM made this statement that US refuses to sign up to any climate change treaty, EU does very little and that also because they have their own green industry which is heavily subsidized and regulated. So West Bengal now is setting up a climate change panel with experts on it. BTW have you experienced some local chamber of commerce at the regional level, just horrific!! Poor cousins of their national ones....

#71
D.Giridhar
August 29, 2007
07:53 AM

Dear Sridhar,
Thanks for acknowledging the post.I recall that i had sought Vinod Vyasulu's obituary in the EPW and you were eager to know who this person was.Perhaps that was the time i had given you a detailed account of Prof.Reddy.In all humility i admit that your painstaking research regarding the article weighs more than that small introduction i gave.

#72
sridhar
August 29, 2007
11:16 AM

dear RenewIndia,
Your comments on CII and FICCI are dead on.As I said in my earlier post,they hijack debates on national importance to suit their narrow class interests. That their assumptions are rarely challenged in corporate dominated media is of course no surprise to us.

They serve delicious pakoras and cocktails to the inner coterie but for others it is "There is no such thing as free pakora"

#73
renewindia
August 29, 2007
11:32 AM

But Sri we have hope, loud-mouthed economists will export good pakoras to the West, one thing you must appreciate these clowns are excellent in organizing parties, BTW Westerners get impressed with their hospitality...and besides what class interests, all 'agents' of big money, most of them from urban 'service class' who worked very very hard and studied very very hard to serve the big-moneyed idiots from Doon and Harvard, a bit like serving the babalog cause...
Why is our intelligentsia frenzied about capital and free market ushering in efficiency, someone at DSE explained that because of mediocrity of mind the neoliberals could win over..
BTW the local ones serve idli vada and suck up to the visiting delegation!!

#74
sridhar
August 29, 2007
11:35 AM

Dear Giridhar,
I look forward to reading his article "Energy for a sustainable world" and also 'Energy issues.'

Prof Amulya Reddy stimulated debate on various issues by raising issues which went to the core of the problem and his critical writing on scientific policy remains the best antidote to the uninformed enthusiasm for inappropriate technology.

#75
Aaman
URL
August 29, 2007
11:52 AM

I highly recommend a somewhat rare book by Arthur Koestler called The Call Girls about the sorts of people who attend these conferences and all their intellectual posturing.

#76
sridhar
August 31, 2007
12:54 AM

Dear RenewIndia,

It may not be a bad idea to export pakora and idlis to the West but we must be careful in not importing expensive inappropriate technology from the West.

Remember Eygpt of 1880's when that country went on a modernization spree which led to dependence on the West and ultimate bankruptcy?

#77
Sridhar
August 31, 2007
12:57 AM

Dear Aaman,
seems a interesting book. wiil try to get it from the book shops.

#78
Rang basanti
August 31, 2007
03:49 AM

Say Lakshmikun,
'did i touch a raw nerve dear, go sleep in your mud house having wet dreams about stalin and how he did what he did and why u are walking on planet earth because of him.'

you touched no raw nerve pal- I was scared by the vast expanse of empty matter between your ears with no grey matter to cloud the view.

On the subject of wet dreams- you show me yours and i will show you mine- Do you get wet dreams about uncle sam when you stick big mac in your mouth?

#79
Rang Basanti
August 31, 2007
03:57 AM

say Chandra,

'Chandra: How can anybody be sure?'

So did Sadaam. He told himself 'no one gonna pull the plug if i attack kuwait as i dicked along with uncle sam in global games.' Poor sod ! They did pull the plug and broke his neck.

#80
RenewIndia
August 31, 2007
07:10 AM

Sri u think the idiota at CII understand maths...cost-benefit analyis!! Well they are just busy exporting a mystical romantic India laden with exoticism to the Westerners without understanding the implications...BTW a word on Gates foundation, they have a scholarship for Cambridge and Indians who secured a place were all in Engineering and Sciences, which I think is the best element of that charity, but can you explain why only Indians selected were in sciences and engineering!!

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