Australian news, and some related international items

India’s nuclear energy ambitions – ‘unachievable and undesirable’

A primer on India’s nuclear energy sector, Hans India , By Gudipati Rajendera Kumar  , 10 July 17    “……..Target set by DAE is that by 2050 33 % of India’s total electricity requirement by 2050 will be from nuclear power. This comes out to be about 275000 MW. This target seems unachievable and undesirable because of following concerns –

 1.  India’s domestic Uranium Reserve can support only 10000 MW of energy. So our future potential depends upon development of third stage of Nuclear Program. Otherwise, there will be again overdependence upon imported Uranium as it is case with Oil currently. Hence, long term strategy will be only determined when third stage is functional.
 2. Current Nuclear reactors consume significant amount of water. So most of upcoming plants will be set up near sea costs. It will put pressure on the coastline as India’s Western coastline is home to fragile ecology of Western Ghats.
3.  Further, till now only 21 plants have been operational. There are long gestation periods which increase costs of the plant significantly. Only a Nuclear Industry revolution in the future in nuclear energy can make this achievable.
4.  New safeguard requirements post Fukushima disaster, has pushed per MW costs of nuclear reactors significantly higher in comparison to Thermal, solar and wind plants. Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra (AREVA) is expected to cost 21 crore/ MW in comparison other sources cost 8-10 crore/ MW. It is to be seen that whether differences of operational/ running costs justify such higher capital expenditure on nuclear plants.
5.  Some argue that Total costs of a Nuclear Lifecycle which involves Mining of Uranium, transportation and storage, capital costs of plants , processing/ reprocessing of plants, possible disasters and then handling of waste generated for hundreds of years is significantly more that economic value generated during lifetime of the functioning of the plant, which is generally 40-50 years.
6.  Nuclear installations will be favorite targets of terrorists (also in case of war) which can cause irreversible damage to people living in nearby areas.
7.  In long run if worldwide dependence on Nuclear energy increases, it will be most unavoidable way of nuclear proliferation as interest and attempt to invest in indigenous industry will increase. Otherwise smaller counties will continue to buy relevant technologies or components from a few western countries which will serve private interest of few.
8.  India doesn’t yet have credible waste disposal policy and infrastructure in place…….

July 14, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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