Now that it is clear, that the UPA Government will move ahead on the Nuclear deal after winning the confidence motion by spending crores of rupees, its time to expose some lies of the supporters of the deal in the light of some new revelations. This article is a follow up of an earlier article on the same issue.
Lie 1 : Nuclear Deal is necessary as India faces shortage of Uramium reserves.
We are told that we have sufficient Thorium reserves but we need to import Uranium if we want our existing and planned Nuclear Plants to run at full capacity. The truth is that since the last two years, hundreds of tonnes of Uranium have been discovered. These reserves are sufficient for all our existing and planned Nuclear Plants. So should we really import something that we already have ? According to the supporters of the deal, we should. Common sense says NO.
Lie 2 : Nuclear Energy is an alternative to Fossil Fuels.
Fossil Fuels are used for transportation. Nuclear Energy would be used to generate electricity. Now how many vehicles in India run on electricity? But if the rhetoric of deal supporters is to be believed, Nuclear Energy will somehow reduce our dependence on Fossil Fuels.
Now for the sake of argument, let us assume a futuristic scenario where a lot of vehicles will run on electricity. Still Nuclear Energy cannot be considered as an option as according to IAEA, Uranium reserves will completely deplete in next 70 years, just as fossil fuels would in the near future.
If Crude Oil price is determined by a cartel of countries, so is the price of Uranium. There is hardly any difference in Crude Oil and Uranium as far as availability and price volatility are concerned. Environmentally, Nuclear wastes are far more hazardous than fossil fuels and Nuclear Reactors are far more dangerous.
Pranab Mukherjee, while defenfing the trust vote in Lok Sabha, wanted us to believe that India cannot be self sufficient in Energy unless we sign the deal. But according to estimates of his own Government and Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the US Department of Energy, at any point of time, Nuclear Energy’s contribution would not exceed 6.7% of our Energy needs. How does Nuclear Energy then become central to our Energy needs? Infact Natural Gas and bio diesel have the potential to replace fossil fuels upto an extent. But the current Government which was ready to sacrifice itself on Nuclear Deal does not care to implement policies which facilitate production of Biodiesel and other renewables.
Let us hope that even if the deal is signed, future Governments are far sighted enough to invest in renewables and other sources, rather than constructing white elephants which will only benefit a small cartel.