Should India invest more in nuclear power? - letsdiskuss
Official Letsdiskuss Logo
Official Letsdiskuss Logo



Lina Carner

Founder Digitalu | Posted on | Science-Technology

Should India invest more in nuclear power?


Entrepreneur | Posted on

Okay, before anything, understand that there's a difference between investing in a nuclear weapon and investing in nuclear power. While the former is about, well, weapons, the latter one is meant to generate power or electricity.

India and the United States has recently agreed to build 6 US nuclear power plants in India, per US-India civil nuclear agreement signed in 2008.

To that, only last October (2018), India and Russia, too, signed an agreement to set 6 more nuclear reactors in India.

These measures come in sync with India's plan to triple its nuclear capacity in the next five years to get more affordable electricity and limit extensive dependency on fossil fuels.

Letsdiskuss(Courtesy: Yale)

At present, India has a total of seven nuclear power plants with 22 nuclear reactors in operation.

Admittedly, as noble as these agreements may look with their intent, there are many cons to them.

Nuclear energy is one of the most low-carbon energy sources, with the smallest carbon footprints. At a time when global warming is such a big issue and the world, collectively, is working to tame down the greenhouse gas emissions, deploying nuclear energy to generate electricity seems like a good choice; moreover, in India, that's struggling with massive air pollution in different parts.

In addition, nuclear energy is quite reliable and cost-effective. So, it can really make a big difference in powering the different and distant parts of the country.

So, all in all, the news of India nuclear power increase is fairly positive.

However, one cannot also help but look at the other side of the coin. There are many challenges in generating electricity through nuclear power.

The radioactive waste that’s generated in this process, which is extremely dangerous to health-- the world still doesn’t have a proper solution to treat it effectively. So, until we find a solution, the waste must be looked after for thousands of years to come.

Also, these wastes can be used in the production of nuclear weapons. And at a time when we must stride towards denuclearization, this is the last thing we want. If it goes to the wrong hands, the repercussion could be catastrophic.

Uranium is the energy source of nuclear energy. And it is a scarce resource. Over-using it will drain it eventually; meaning, future generations might never have uranium. So, this is another big challenge of promoting nuclear energy.

And then comes the security issues. If Chernobyl disaster and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster taught us anything, it's that no matter how well we are prepared, building a nuclear plant with foolproof security is impossible. And this eventually puts a lot of lives at risk.

So, there are pros and cons of India nuclear power increase. If we're focusing on short-term benefits, it can make a positive difference. However, in the long-term, the benefits can be contentious.

I believe if India (and the world) is really serious about global warming and energy generation, we must invest BIG in solar energy with a long-term picture in the head.

Hope this answers your question.