Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on
Jul 23, 2011
Nuclear energy is not merely unsafe, it is uneconomical. Carbon neutrality? That's really just wishful thinking for nuclear reactors, if the canvas is expanded to incorporate a 'cradle to grave' scenario. Indian scientists and nucleocrats have learned the art of window dressing cost-benefit analyses from their counterparts overseas. The assumption is that neither the long-term cost of storage of irradiated wastes, nor decommissioning of the reactor itself at the end of its life, require to be factored into cost projections. And such inconvenient matters such as compensating the public in case of an accident, are matters that politicians with a 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours' brief blithely sweep under their worn 'national interest' carpets. Of course, neither Chernobyl, nor Fukushima are likely to deter governments that use the fig leaf of "peaceful use' to prop up their self-confidence (not self-defense) by stockpiling enriched uranium. And yes... uranium supplies too are now in a 'while stocks last mode'. Bottom line? If a nuclear reactor is safe (oxymoron?), it will not be economical. If its economical it cannot be safe. The myth that nuclear power is a magic bullet is dangerous. That bullet could drill a hole through humankind.