Editorial Simplified : 28th Day of March 2017
This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers.
Editorial : Powered by a pause
Delay in operationalisation of the 2005 Indo-U.S. civil nuclear agreement owing to Westinghouse’s financial difficulties and Japan’s procedural issues in ratifying the deal with India
The government and officials should use this as an opportunity to re-examine the country’s engagement with nuclear energy for future needs.
Concerns over nuclear energy:
- Cost overruns and delivery delays across the nuclear energy industry has led to near-bankruptcy of Westinghouse; Nuclear manufacturer Areva (in partnership with Mitsubishi) has a similarly precarious position despite hopes of a bailout by the French government.
- Even Russian supplier Rosatom’s Kudankulam units 1 and 2, in the only foreign collaboration now operational in India, were built in double the time budgeted, while units 3 and 4 could see delays.
- The cost of importing reactors, relative to those based on indigenous design, is another concern.
- Land acquisition issues remain, along with the need for large water reservoirs for the reactors, which will only grow if the government goes ahead with its plans for 55 reactors of 63,000 MW in total by 2032.
- In addition, given concerns about a possible tsunami scenario along the Andhra coast, where many of these reactors are planned, the Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL are looking for options farther inland.
- Rapid progress in technology in other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, the collapse of oil prices and the expansion in gas projects as a viable and clean alternative, the promise of nuclear energy has dimmed.
- These could also be more cost-effective for a developing country such as India, as the energy can be made available in smaller units, and then built up, unlike nuclear plants where nothing can be transmitted until the whole plant is complete and attains critical status.
- The risk surrounding nuclear safety is yet to be fully mapped, post-Fukushima.
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