I’m no Nuclear Scientist…but Former Chairman of our Atomic Energy Commission,Mr M R Srinivasan is……and I’m simply appalled and dismayed at his gaul to bluff on a TV Debate…..at his audacious and quite arrogant assertions too…..read on
After the tragic and ongoing Earthquake and Tsunami induced Nuclear Reactors Disaster in Japan,last evening I listened quite intensely to the Debate on the controversy of the Jaitapur in Maharashtra 9900 MW (1650 MW * 6) Nuclear Plant Site on Times Now…kept an Open Mind
Moderator and Ace Anchor and Editor -in-Chief of Times Now,Arnab Goswami had an eminent panel ….of scientists and an environment activist….a welcome relief and break from the ad nauseum political party spokesmen and representatives who come on debates with no real knowledge depth at all and simply have one agenda…to politicise just about every debate to make it a mockery and render it meaningless
The Panel yesterday was top notch and quite credible….or so I thought !
Pro Jaitapur Nuclear Plant Site and Pro Imports of hitherto completely new technology and never before built or commissioned European Pressurised Reactors from French Company ‘Areva’
M R Srinivasan from the cool climes of Ooty…Former Chairman of our Atomic Energy Commission
Bikash Sinha from Kolkata… Nuclear Scientist and a firm believer in India continuing to have a strong Nuclear Energy Initiative as it’s safety record has been very good
T P Srinivasan from Trivandrum…Member of the National Security Advisory Board
Anti Jaitapur Nuclear Plant Site and Anti Imports of hitherto completely new technology and never before built or commissioned or tested European Pressurised Reactors from French Company ‘Areva’
Dr A Gopalkrishnan from Hyderabad…Nuclear Scientist and an ex student of M R Srinivasan and a very vocal and blunt voice on the real sinster reason that India is going to spend thousands of crores in importing Nuclear Reactors from USA ,Russia and France
Sunita Narain…Environmental activist and Director,Centre for Science & Environment
A Voice from USA
Nick Lorris…Policy Analyst,The Heritage Foundation,Washington DC…….who got to say just one thing in the debate that it is not correct to have knee jerk policy reactions on what has just happened in Japan and that USA is served by 104 Nuclear Plants that contribute to 20% of the country’s energy needs and shutting them down in wake of the Japan Disaster would be at a huge cost and this could be a similar story in other countries too
Sunita Narain raised a cry…that these Nuclear Scientists decide on Nuclear Issues behind closed doors….are unwilling to communicate and be transperant in their decision making……and therefore simply cannot be trusted….It was easy to sympathise with her point of view
Dr Gopalakrishnan was even more direct…he took on M R Srinivasan and even criticised another Former Chairman of AEC,Kakodkar….claiming that a completely false propoganda was being unleashed that unless India imports 40000 MW Capacity of Nuclear Reactors India will have huge Electricity problems by 2050…that such an initiative has been launched only because our PM gave a promise to the French and US Presidents that India will buy Nuclear Reactors from them….there are powerful energy power agents involved with the Indian Nuclear Establishment resulting in such expensive deals of thousands of crores of rupees
My problem is who do we trust !?…As a Citizen,I have a full right to know the dangers and risks associated with a Nuclear Plant…and Jaitapur Locals have an even bigger right to decide on this than me
M R Srinivasan countered arguments on TV yesterday by asserting that it was he who had identified Jaitapur in 1984 as the ideal site to have a Nuclear Plant as the Land height was 10 meters above sea level,was not prone to earthquakes and there was no farming on the land…..and that there was nothing wrong in importing the reactors…it is not true to say they are untested….there are 65 such installations world wide…it’s only that this is a new Model
But this morning Times of India ,Mumbai Edition carries a very revealing front page story on how Jaitapur is in Seismic Zone 3 category and that data from the Geological Survey of India reveals that between 1985 and 2005 there have been 92 Earthquakes and biggest one in Jaitapur was in 1993 and measure 6.2 on the Richter Scale !…the ground trembles beneath Jaitapur’s feet !
So what prompted M R Srinivasan,Former Chairman of AEC to proclaim untruths on the TV Debate yesterday ! ?…..his credibility is under the scanner now…..as Sunita Narain cries out “How can we trust what they say “…….Dr Gopalakrishnan revealed the strong influence of Energy Power Agents being involved and these huge billions of dollars of Reactor Import and Installations Deals being falsely justified under the excuse of India becoming crippingly Energy Deficit if the Nuclear Energy Initiative is not intensified in a hurry
To me the Nuclear Energy Debate is quite a simple stand to take really….it’s like faced with a medical choice of having to take steroids to recover faster…view the benefits of doing so against the strong after effects that are likely to surface only a few years down the line !….I have made such a Medical choice in the past,refusing to take a Steroid for a quicker recovery…I actually recovered quite fast without it !
So the moot bigger questions are these and who’s knowledgable answers can we trust blindfolded…or rather blindminded…I’m afraid not M R Srinivasan’s for sure…I agree with Dr Gopalakrishnan here that we cannot allow the same people who drafted and are implementing the Nuclear Energy Policy to also review it….we need a credible and independent panel to do this
Will India be crippled as an Energy Deficit Country in the decades ahead if we do not intensify our Nuclear Energy Initiative as other Energy Sources will be inadequate to service our growing needs ?
In our endeavour to become an Energy Positive Country ,and to reduce dependency on the Finite Resources of Oil and Coal ,if we do pursue a Nuclear Energy Policy vigorously how can we be fully convinced that the safeguards are foolproof and that this will not turn out to be literally and figuratively a ‘From the Frying Pan into the Fire’ Choice ?
…..and I’m more than a little concerned and trepid here that we have septogenarians and octogenarians guiding us on this…and that they will calmly depart from Planet Earth before the folly of their wisdom and choice hits us….in that they may well be mortgaging a young India and the future generations on this if god forbiding a ‘Japan’ takes place in ‘Jaitapur’!…..because after all even the Worst Scenario cannot be predicted
I think arguably the greatest living scientist,Stephen Hawkins visualised it best…
” If Civilisation has to survive Planet Earth it has to go live elsewhere in Space ! “
I began with an Open Mind….Now I have an Angry Open Mind !…it’s still Open though on this issue !