08 August 2012

Nuclear Energy and India

Radiation is not a human made thing, it is a very much natural phenomenon. Many elements on this earth emit radiation. Some of them are natural. Some are manmade. Out of the naturally occuring radioactive substances, Uranium and Thorium are most important as they are the ones used for production of electricity. Till now the existing technology allows uranium to be used. But latest technology is being developed to use thorium in place of uranium as India has a large deposit of thorium.

Even our body has some trace amounts of Uranium.

Most of Indian continent comes under low to medium risk seismic zone. Compared to Japan this is nothing. Whole Japan comes under high to very high seismic risk zone but still produces 30% of its energy needs from Nuclear sources.

Tsunami occurs due to certain tectonic conditions and except some coastal parts in southern India, those kind of tectonic setting are not present around our country. So this fear is needless.

Japan is having such conditions still was running so many nuclear plants from last so many years and this is first incident after 30/40 years. Please remember that in this 30-40 years there has not been any major accident or deaths due to these reactors. Can you say this about any coal mines or thermal power plant in this world. For your information, the ratio between deaths due to coal and uranium is huge, if we do not consider nuclear bombs. That means in any year the number of people dying due to coal mine accidents or pollution due to thermal power plants is much higher than Uranium mines accidents (which are almost non-existent and Nuclear Reactor accidents). Please remember that in Japan, till now there has not been a single death due to the Nuclear Reactor acident. All deaths were due to earthquake and Tsunami.

Even after such a huge natural disaster and massive destruction their leaders and common peoples understand necessity of Nuclear power and slowly Japan is starting their Nuclear plants again after some preventive measures.

India also has nuclear power plants and they are running very well. Japan's accidents occurred due to tsunami. The Nuclear Power Plants in Japan are old ones and doesn't have latest technology. In India, we are using latest technology to build Nuclear Power Plants. So, the chances of getting affected by any natural disaster like earthquake or Tsunami is very less.

Nuclear waste should be the only thing to worry about in this type of power generation. However, this problem will arise 30-40 years after actual commissioning of the Reactor. Nuclear waste disposal is a very highly controlled and safe matter. At least it is much safer than the way coal ash or gases coming out due to burning of coal and petroleum are handled. Every year thosands of people die to lungs cancer caused due to noxious gases coming out of thermal power plants, vehicles using petroleum and other and other fossil fuel sources. No such problem can be attributed to Nuclear energy.