Sunday, September 07, 2008

India in nuclear club; third largest emitter of CO2

According to Center for Global Development (CGD) India is in the third position in the list of biggest CO2 emitter through power generation after China and the United States.

In the recent years, India’s energy consumption has been increasing at one of the fastest rates in the world due to population growth and economic development. Another study shows that by 2017, India's energy requirement is expected to be 335 GW. This is a quite big number. This is going to put severe demand pressure on the traditional energy source of the planet. China and India will directly compete with the developed countries for fuel. Imagine what will happen then? Ever increasing fuel cost, high emission of green house gases, not a pleasant view huh? Now itself India is the 3rd largest emitter of green houses gases in power sector with the state owned NTPC leading the march. And this trend is upward.

In this context Nuclear power is the good source (Cant say how safe it is, still we don’t know how to handle nuclear waste properly).It is a clean source that can reduce the dependence on traditional energy source. India didn’t get the NSG waiver because of this. The writing is on the wall. Companies like Blackstone Group, GE and many other corporations are eying the lucrative energy sector of India. Once approved by the respective countries they can sign contracts worth multi billion of US dollars. I don’t think there is anybody, who don’t want their hand in the plum? It’s a scramble for energy sector much like the defense contracts of India. It’s a win- win situation for all. But then by doing so aren’t we creating a wrong precedence? What happens if tomorrow another rogue country comes up with similar arguments (India has a clean history of nuclear non-proliferation which even some of the nuclear super powers can’t claim?). This is a sensitive issue with world energy market in one side and nuclear non-proliferation in another side of the balance. Let’s hope that everything goes fine.

Public support for nuclear power had dramatically decreased after couple of high-profile accidents, such as at the Three Mile Island reactor in the US in March 1979 and the Chernobyl reactor in April 1986 in the erstwhile Soviet Union.

However, in recent years, the nuclear industry has become less defensive about its safety record. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) website, for instance, points out that these are the only major accidents to have occurred in more than 12,700 cumulative reactor-years of commercial operation in 32 countries. The risks from western nuclear power plants, in terms of the consequences of an accident or terrorist attack, are minimal compared to other commonly accepted risks. Nuclear power plants are very robust, it asserts.

But we should look & develop other source of energy also like the wind energy, solar energy, tidal energy. These are much better and clean than the nuclear energy.

It’s a beginning… Let’s see how much we move forward.

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