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Friday, July 11, 2008

A done deal? Or done for?

It is quite a busy time coming for India with the elections coming soon. But more importantly, all the political turmoil about the nuclear deal has put into the limelight once again that very question - Does India need this deal? Is nuclear power that important a need to us?

Indeed our choices are limited. We could say No to Nuclear power and end up suffering when oil prices go through the roof someday soon. Or we could accept the deal now and maybe one day reap the benefits.

The deal is quite essential. no non-conventional sources can supply the energy that a huge developing nation like India needs. Just one kilogram of U-235 yields 18.7 Million Kilowatt Hours as opposed to about 1.6 kilowatt hours per kilogram of regular fossil fuels like coal and oil. Think about the possibilities if we were able to switch over to nuclear power quickly. As long as nuclear waste is safely disposed, producing nuclear power is far far less polluting that using oil and coal to produce power. Wind power, tidal power etc are not reliable sources. Solar power is an alternative but once again its not possible to depend solely on it. And one day when petroleum and other fossil fuels run out then we'll be between a rock and a hard place. I'm in no way supporting the Congress (or any other political party for that matter), they're not important at all and hopefully they will lose the elections too, but the deal must come through.

And Dr. Abdul Kalam came out fully in support of the nuclear deal, as did most other intellectuals. Yes, we do have large reserves of Thorium, but lack the technology to convert into viable nuclear fuel. All the Left gives a damn about is siding against the US, and of course opposing all development and nodding for everything China says. Yeah right, as if we wouldn't get sanctions if we tested a nuclear weapon even if we didn't sign the deal. A nuclear test would anyway make us prey to sanctions, so there's no point in stating that as a reason for not signing the deal. This in no way makes us dependent on the US solely. India can always pull out of the deal. Of course the US gains an ally in India, and they probably gain lots of trade concessions but there's no gain without compromise. Their companies do indeed have an eye on the predicted 100$ billion dollar energy market in India if the nuclear deal comes through.

When great minds like Abdul Kalam see the light our politicians and common people still only worry about immediate gains. Why can't they see that the ever decreasing commodity is OIL, and when petroleum and coal are indeed gone with the wind, then people will see prices of all commodities shoot up.

This deal is indeed the best thing that can happen to India, and we should be embracing it wholeheartedly. This doesn't make us American pawns, it just allows India to get fuel
from the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers' Group). It is a Civil Nuclear deal, not a military one. Only the reactors that receive fuel under this agreement need to be put under IAEA safeguards. The United States of America is indeed one of the few countries that can hold the door open to India when it comes to getting the required Nuclear fuel.

Future generations will repent it if we make a mistake. Indeed India is the cynosure of the world's eyes now!