The Lies Continue….

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.

The Future

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.

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13 thoughts on “The Lies Continue….

  1. I feel, next election BJP ll win and solve the problem…(hope so)…
    send this article to good newpaper…or news channel…

  2. I have to disagree with this dude. The problems we face over here are manifold.
    We needed enriched Uranium for the reactors. So the question is : do we have the required setup to extract and enrich the Uranium to the required quality for the reactors. I cant comment on the amount of Uranium we have, but as you said, it was found only in the last 2 years, then its understood that the required setup is not available. We will therefore need to import it at least for sometime.
    Secondly, its not just vehicles that run on fossil fuel. What u are speaking of is petrol. Fossil fuel also include coal. If I remember my school geography correctly, then majority of our electricity is produced by coal. This dependency needs to be reduced! Its not just an issue of which is better. The issue of Green house gases(GHG) and global warming also exists. We need a lot more energy if we are to continue developing at the same pace as we have been. This would greatly add to the emission of GHG in the future. China has already overtaken US in the amt of GHG being released. By our pace, we will soon become a major contributor to it too. I don’t know how many of you know of this issue, but it is estimated that at the current rate, in the next 30 to 50 years, majority of globe will be immersed in ocean because of Artic ice melting. There is a lot more to the effects of Global warming which I wont go into over here.
    Yes Nuclear waste is a lot more troublesome and difficult to dispose. We have to find a way to solve that. But we have increase the % of energy from nuclear fuel nevertheless. Currently that’s the only alternative to fossil Fuel.
    As for vehicles not working on electricity, I believe in the future, the rage will be for hybrid cars which are economic. They are already hitting the market over here. Electric cars that have been made till date sucked compared to petrol or diesel cars, but with in the next decade, companies will be forced to produce better cars in much larger numbers.
    We need to find alternate sources and methods of producing electricity. Once that’s done, everything else will follow. Then the middle east wont be able to hold a gun to the rest of the world and we might also choke up the source of finance to the terrorists.
    We have to start somewhere and sometime. India has taken the initiative. I prefer we continue the change rather go against it.

  3. @Yuvraj

    Thanks for your comments.

    @ Anil

    Thanks for your comment and analysis. You feel we dont have a set up to extract Uranium mines. I feel since we already have been mining Uranium from few mines, it shouldn’t be a problem with the new ones. As far as Coal is concerned, new technologies have been discovered which reduce CHG emissions. Please check this link http://www.coal.gov.uk/resources/cleanercoaltechnologies/ucgoverview.cfm

    I share your concern for gloabal warming and I feel renewables like Solar, Wind, bio-diesel are the answer and not nuclear reactors as they will give rise to more problems than solving the existing ones.

    I would also like you to ponder over the fact that Australia which has the largest Uranium reserves in the world does not have a single Nuclear Reactor.and US has not built a single Nuclear reactor in the last thirty years despite facing energy crisis. These two countries are still very keen to “help” India in acheving its Nuclear Dream. US has learnt its lesson but it seems we wont till we commit the same mistake that US did by spending billions on these white elephants.

  4. Good to find you actually putting some thought into this. Haven’t had a debate in ages :D. We can take this offline if u want or continue over here. Mail me about that. For now I am posting my comments over here.

    Reduction of emission is not the same as not having any. I do accept that Nuclear fuel is not the best alternative. The wastes it produces is dangerous and even a small accident will have a very long lasting effect. Yes, Solar, wind and geothermal are better options. We cant depend much more on Hydro, (reasons for that are multiple but wont go into that here). But none of the other options are viable. The required tech just does not exist. The best of the lot is Solar. But it lacks the required efficiency. The required efficiency is about 80%, We have currently achieved about 50% under certain conditions, (a prof in my college did that, and she is the leading scientist in the field). In short, none of the other sources of energy is viable as yet. The research in these fields has been going on for half a century now, and results are still not visible. We cant therefore depend on them as the option. We cannot continue to burn fuel. Nuclear is dangerous, but that just means we got to be careful. To kick out an alternative because we might be scared of it is idiotic. Do you think waiting for the tech to mine/develop Uranium is better than getting it for now from people who already have it? The need for energy in our nation is now! Look at what happened all round the world because oil prices increased! US has gone into a recession because of the rising oil prices. Is it prudent to continue depending on oil? We wont be completely shutting down every other power generator. Just that we will try to make nuclear one of the ways to generate power. That is logical.
    As for Australia and US not adding any nuclear Reactors, learn from them. Dont repeat their mistakes. US economy is dependent on oil. They went to war against Iraq for it. They cant touch Iran because of it. And since the prices started increasing, the economy has gone into a recession. Its not a White elephant dude, its a need, a requirement rite now.
    We could go China’s way, add a huge number of power generators that use coal just like China did and become the largest producer of green house gases (Currently China is the largest producer of GHG.) OR show some concern as to what we are sacrificing in our race for development and find better means. If not the best option, at least use stopgaps that will buy us time until we have found better means.

    P.s : My concern about global warming…. I am shit scared of it yar, Just a few days back the news was that we have about 100 months left. Another time I read in a newspaper that we have crossed the tipping point. Now all this could be just Armageddon preachers, but the ice in Artic and Antarctic is melting. If that enters the ocean in large amounts then increase in water level is not the only problem. Ice-ages have occurred in history because of this very same reason. The climate is shifting. I can go on about it. Maybe I will make a blog about that 🙂

  5. @ Anil

    You raised three important points here 1) Rising Oil Prices 2) Unviability of Renewables 3) Global Warming

    1) As explained in this post, Oil prices and Nuclear Energy have absolutely no co-relation. I would re iterate, Oil is used as a Transportation fuel wheras Nuclear Energy is used to generate electricity. US or any other country does not use Electricity to run vehicles. Vehicles which can practically run on Electricity are still in an early stage of development. So even if US,or any other country would have had 10 times more nuclear reactors, it would have guzzled the same amount of Oil as it is guzzling now.

    2) As far as efficiency and viability of renewables are concerned, I agree that they are not economically viable now. But so is Nuclear Energy. It is common Knowledge that the production costs of renewables like Wind, Solar etc have drastically reduced in the last 30 years and are expected to break even in the next five years, but the same cannot be said about Nuclear Energy. Infact there is not a single Nuclear plant in the world which has not exceeded its estimated costs. This despite the fact that a lot of money has been spent on its research.

    3) Yes the climate is changing and even I am scared of Global Warming. But as mentioned by me in the previous reply, a new technology, UCG emits far lesser amount of GHG. Anyways replacing an evil (Global Warming) by another (Nuclear Accidents) could be a solution only if there is no other alternative. But as explained by me, this is not the case.

    PS: I would love to read your blog. And it need not be just on Global Warming 🙂

  6. Hello folks, Nice to see people discussing something relating to our future avenues. Well about the N-deal , as said by India Unbound, This panorama won’t help people Think neutrally or the way they would want to think. Keeping on commenting against The N-deal without knowing the other sector benefits won’t make your blog gilded.
    Coming to the point, considering the remniscence, The mention of IT & Software in India always falls in the state of oblivion. The N-Deal apart from providing the access to many uranium imports, would also do much good in providing a boost to the It & Software In India. For instance, the access to high performing computing systems are currently denied to India, under various export regimes. Now This N-Deal will put Indian Software, IT and R&D in a completely different league which will give India a boost to access various modern computing systems, Like the Surface computers and The Special Purpose Google earth softwares(Which are used only by the FBI n CBI officials), I would give the info about these softwares later offline as i have less space in this blog to explain them

    Secondly, Let’s not forget That we have aimed to be Shanghai In the near future. Shanghai which is categorized among the most developed countries in terms of Infrastructure and technologies related to Infrastructural sub-parts. For That we need to have the most advanced constructing machines in India which would guarantee a complete built up of a project within the specfied time. Where The world today is progressing with a high pace constructing machines installed to build Bridges, towers Etc., There India uses the machines which take almost 8 years for a simple Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai to build. Reason??? There is a roller coaster Machine which is used in construction of various hi-tech twoers abroad which uses Uranium, And which is currently denied to India. Where Today we can see That the Twin towers of Patronas In Malaysia was built in a mere 2 and a half years using this newly introduced technology, There we see the Howrah sea link in Kolkata taking about 7 and a half years to build a bridge which is mrerely 2 kilometres In Length, involving more time and more cost of machinery. So our Construction section would still hinder in growth prospects if the Modern machinery isn’t introduced in India, almost all of which use Uranium as the basic ingredient of the functioning of these machines.

    Thirdly, the supervening technology of Digital Phospor Oscilloscopes which would guarantee a 99% of apt and true weather report would also be introduced to India, as it uses uranium to function(The Exact functioning is still unknown by me, But it does uses Uranium for its functioning). in India where we complain about irregular weather reports by our meteorological department, The problem would not be solved 100% using Digital Phosphor Oscillioscope, as no technology is foolproof, But still it would provide a solution to most of the forecasting problems.

    And last but not the least, i came across some report In The TOI, where it was mentioned in clear words, That though Tata owns Corus today, But The steel which tata produces, would not be available directly to the Indian manufacturing units, since they can be used to make centrifuges in Uranium Enrichment, which is denied to India. This farcical situation cannot just pose a helpless smile to many Indian manufacturing units, But can also hinder the process of Making these centrifuges. Now as many people would think that the centrifuges can be used for Uranium enrichment, which in turn would be used for various repugnant reasons, It’s just on the Policies made by the Government That Uranium shouldn’t be used for wrong reasons. The point that Australia having 10 times more reserves of Uranium Than India having it, Is acceptable, because the Government must have set some stringent rules and punishment who are caught in offense of using Uranium for disagreaable reasons. But that Doesn’t mean Australia wouldn’t be having the freedom to use Uranium in its Modern machinery used in construction, In Its modern meteorological equipments which require Uranium for their functioning or for the sake of Latest Cancer treatment equipments like The LigaSure, which can not only dtect the Breat cancer, but can also remove the auxillary Lymph nodes affected by cancer from the armpits, solving 80% of the problems in the initial stages of Breast Cancer, ALSO USES THE URANIUM 238 in very small quantity for the laser treatment.

    Plus, the filamentary poles which are used to manufacture Golf rackets and Tennis nets and rackets are also denied to India, as Filamentary poles are feared of being used in Uranium enrichemnt. But as said earlier, f the right policies are framed by the government, Then Uranium enrichment would see no discrepancies in the future. Imagine for yourself, considering this simplest example, How would you feel for paying extra 1000 Rupees for a tennis racket which is the best Used in tournaments. Once Indian Companies start manufacturing such rackets using filamentary poles later, the cost of production and sales of these sports equipments would reduce to a great extent, providing the Best quality in reasonable rates!

    So there are so many points one can add in favour of this so called ” Insidious” N-Deal, which actually has more benefits than shortcomings.
    Remember, the striking out of this N-Deal would not be less Than an Imbecile decision as Every developed country in this world has a Right over Uranium Resrves which is denied to India. The emendation in our policies regarding the usage of uranium reserves should be made as soon as possible, as uranium can also prove to be more hazardous than a BOON.
    So the Right Policies regarding the Uranium enrichment and the acceptance of the N-Deal with open hands, would Take India Gradually to the stage where we would want to see her soon. Remember, Every single point counts In the development of a country. And one single aspect denied to India, can create an encumberance in its way of development and its futuristic goals to be one among the DEVELOPED countries!!
    So lets not fire the Idea, lets just fire the dark sides of this deal.
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Mukund

  7. But Yes a very good attempt made by the initiator, To point out the dark sides of this deal too.
    I agree with all the dark sides pointed out!!!

  8. Mukund, thanks for your comments 🙂 Most of points raised by you were also raised by Indrani Bagchi in a ToI article. These arguments were never given by the Govt. in support of the deal even when it was in grave crisis and fighting for its survival. I do not deny that there are some benefits of the deal. However, these new arguments by the pro deal lobby would need more research to know the whole truth.

    Remember, a few days back Nuclear Energy was sold to us as a panacea to our energy crisis but when facts showed othwerwise, we have these new stories about the “spillover” effects of the N Deal, which look better than the intended benefit of the deal 😀 However, now that the deal would be signed, lets hope that the side effects of the deal actually are true and we have something to gain from this deal.

    Talking about Australian Uranium reserves, my point was that Australia which is technologically much more advanced than India is not using Nuclear Energy despite having World’s largest Uranium reserves. This should force us to think about the viability of Nuclear Energy.

  9. @India Unbound

    U are absolutely true in bringing out the burgeous point of Australia, but i am not just sticking to Australia at the moment. Australia, on grounds of having largest uranium reserves havent been denied The use of Machinery for Uranium enrichment, India has been denied. Indrani Bagchi(or I dont Know How do u spell her name) Just gave a skeleton of the problems we would face by the backtracking of this N-Deal, But that does not encompass the Inside story. If u have heard the name of NPCC , National Petroleum Construction Company, Has been denied The access to The Indian Oil N Gas forum in India, In which all Oil N gas Majors are listed, such as L&T, Bharat Petroleum, Hp and all of these listed big worths, Wont find a way to tie up with NPCC( which is a dubai based MNC) due to the nuclear gas producing capability of this company. But we are forgetting, That Primarily This NPCC is an Oil n Gas Company, much of what is desperately needed in india, N Refined Oil n Gas would be made available at cheaper costs In india later after This company enters In Indian Markets
    That would happen only if The N-Deal is passed
    And the “spillover” effects of this deal were only pertaining to the Global warming aspects. Your every point would round up and be concluded around this Global warming aspect. But there are many advantages which i have pointed out in this and my earlier posts. Dont Misconstrue me, But i see no harm in accepting the allowance of certain machinery which can be used for Uranium enrichment or which Use Uranium for their functioning, because i feel In Today’s World, Nuclear energy products are fast catching Up wid high performance, low maintenance criteria which age old machinery or products can’t guarantee
    Plus as i said, the right use Of uranium as a whole, according to me won’t bring any hazardous effects as pointed out earlier by U
    Australia for example has all The latest machinery required for construction, For technologies relating to IT, Meteorology etc, Which use 80% of uranium
    U can check out the reoprts for ur confirmation
    Thats what i say
    Dont blast The decision, Try 2 rectify the negative points of it. And i still feel That The negativities are huge, but I dont think They have a greater weightage Than the Plus points!!!
    But anyway, yours is a commendable effort in shading the Negative points, which we as individuals of the “Decision-Taking” India have to keep in mind!

  10. well, i think UPA govt is so sure that they wont win the election next time. I cant find any other reason now for their urgency in signing the nuclear deal, whn ppl of india r facing tons of problems.
    Al i can guess frm their action is just tat, this deal is an answer for indian rise in fuel prices, inflation, fall in overall gdp nd 4 al those other problems faced by indians………… though i should go nuts to think that way…!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. @Laxmi

    I agree with you here. If the rhetoric of deal supporters is to be believed, all our problems would be solved by the Nuclear Deal. It is really sad that such an important decision is taken by lame duck leaders who would most probably fade into oblivion in the next one year. Ideally they should have waited for the new dispensation in their respective countries.

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