Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The government of India, a government sans governance and the ruling polity has always been objecting to the judicial activism of the Indian courts in all matters relating to governance and felt that it was intruding into the government domain even though it was absolutely necessary in the light of total inaction by the government in all matters of public interest and welfare. It was most surprising to see the apex court proclaiming that fear of nuclear disaster has no basis. It should be appreciated that science and technology is as bankrupt as it was fifty years back and tries to fix up the faults as are thrown up by accidents and occurrings from time to time. The safety teams are playing around with collation of statistical data of functioning of a multitude of components, mechanical behaviour and failure of structures and the materials and trying to overcome these through redundancy and reliability.
All these exercises were carried out before commissioning power plants at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima but as providence will have it some new unknown factors came into being and these catastrophic accidents occurred. Let us all understand that nuclear energy safety has been a false promise and will continue to be the same for all times to come. Humanity has suffered heavily because of ironic claims of 100% safety but we in India seem to be none the wiser from the experiences of others. These ominous words contained in the judgement "Nobody on this earth can predict what would happen in future and to a larger extent we have to leave it to the destiny" should not be taken lightly as the stakes are not the same as that of an automobile accident. The decisions must be weighed in the light of the quantum of risks of catastrophic accidents in nuclear power plants. 
There has got to be something horrendous in nuclear power play. We must try to analyse why even the so called masters of nuclear power technology are themselves shying away from this energy. No new plant has come up on the soil of USA since 1980. Germany and Japan have decided to phase out all nuclear energy. So much so even the French have decided to go in for reductions in their dependence on nuclear energy.
While nobody can deny the requirements of energy for the sunny future of the masses of India as brought out in a report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which highlights that to sustain rapid global economic growth, it is necessary to double the supply of energy and tripling supply of electricity by 2050. Further, it is stated billions of poor people need energy and other life-saving and job-creating technologies.” But today we have better alternates available to realise our aims. It will be criminal to bank upon a technology which is in an obsolescence phase because of thorns attached to it and not in sync with the vision and aspirations of 21st century. India does not need nuclear power for its energy security. Let us hope that wisdom prevails on Indian rulers and polity.