The Viability Of Rejecting Nuclear Energy In India

Posted on October 24, 2011 in Specials

By Harinie Thiagarajan:

Energy is always known to be one of the most important factors that influence a country’s economic growth and human development. Indian economy is the world’s tenth-largest. In order to meet the needs of the billion odd consumers, both inland and abroad, the available energy should be utilized in a better way. Recent unplanned usage of natural resources has led to the depletion of the non-renewable resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gases. Keeping in mind the future generation, an alternative source of energy has to be found and trapped. Though winds and tidal waves do a considerably good job in filling this gap, they account for a very meager quantity of the total amount needed.


Nuclear power is the fourth largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources for generating electricity. With more than 20 nuclear power plants in India, India’s nuclear power industry is enduring rapid spreading out with an aim of tapping as much power as possible. Being a highly reliable source of energy, these power plants can run for an entire day without any changes. Furthermore, cost of nuclear fuel is comparatively less than the other energy sources such as coal and gas. Large amounts of nuclear energy can be produced from less amount of uranium making it all the more cost effective.

With every part of the country practicing “The Green Mantra”, nuclear power positively aids this notion. Nuclear electricity does not produce any GHG emissions or cause air pollution, which is in contrary to the usage of fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas. In addition to all these, an infinite potential is available in this energy. With new technologies aiding this process, there is undoubtedly a very high scope of this energy source.

Despite these innumerous advantages, nuclear energy is always a controversial topic. This is because of the irreparable loses that may be caused if the process is not performed carefully. Despite the safety arrangements that have been made by the equipment operators, the chances that things may go wrong are very high. Another massive problem faced with respect to the nuclear reactors is the disposal of the nuclear reactor rods. The continual accumulation of these wastages can result in a lot of health issues and environmental problems. To top all these issues, the fuel used for these reactors may be utilized for the making of nuclear weapons which is the major threat for even the super power nations.

Whatever may be the source of energy, an efficient method to trap the useful power is to be adopted. Nuclear power is the best answer for the current problem of energy shortage. This not only helps meet demand-supply but also to bridge the gap between that available energy and that needed for the future generation. Thus until a better source of power is found and brought to usage, the development in the field of nuclear technology should not be ceased and of course, extensive safety measures have to be followed to make this one hundred percent viable and secure.

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Even with the status of bring the fourth largest source of energy, nuclear energy still only contributes for 4% of the total electricity. Scientists hope to pull it to 9% in the next 25 years. This increase comes at the cost of displaced villages, safety risks and most importantly a waste disposal problem. Is it worth it?
Even if you manage to get the safety measures in place, the fact that the only way of radioactive disposal is dumping it in the sea should be enough discouragement. Its like a time bomb that you know will eventually go off. Radioactive waste disposal is a BIG problem, and just because the prospect of imminent power is so attractive we are willing to turn a blind eye to it.
Many scientists within India are against nuclear energy:

I think we shouldn’t wait till another alternate is found but spend all the time and money spent on nuclear plants in researching on and building renewable energy sources.


I totally agree with you. With increasing power cuts all over India, a better source of power is the need of the hour.
That should be both eco-friendly and should be capable of providing power over a long run too.

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