My Cousin asked me “Why do I support the Indo-US Nuclear Deal?” I know lot of people have spoken on the issue yet confused us a lot. I’ll give my simple argument.
India is growing. We need energy to sustain this growth. So far we have been dependent on Oil and Coal for energy and power. When I say energy, it includes even simple things like Kerosene, diesel, petrol and electricity. We all know the cost of petroleum is increasing. It is also a fossil fuel. So is Coal. Both are limited and would soon be exhausted. We have been trying to create electricity from water by building dams. This brings me to the issue of environment. Dams are proven to be dangerous for the environment. Also both petroleum and coal are worst form of pollutants.
In this scenario, we need a form of energy which is clean and feasible. Two forms can help us — renewable energies like sun and wind, and Nuclear energy. We are still trying to tap our solar and wind energy resources. Insallah, we will succeed one day.
Now my argument for Nuclear energy. We have as a nation already developed our nuclear capabilities since late 1970s. In 1998, our decision to develop nuclear weapons made the international community angry. We were faced with lot of sanctions which included refusal to share nuclear technology and fuel. Now over the years, we have realised that nuclear energy can also be used to generate energy that is clean and affordable. France has successfully done that. Even Finland, the country I would be visiting next week, uses nuclear energy for electricity.
Before I proceed, let me tell you how the international nuclear industry works. A certain number of countries, with access to Nuclear technology and fuel, have formed a cartel called Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. Members include nations like the US, Finland, Russia and China. These countries decide share the Nuclear technology and fuel based on the ‘use’ of the same. In our case, we have urged the US, a principal member of the cartel to help us enter this group. We want to become a part of the NSG and do nuclear trade with these countries. We would like to buy nuclear fuels to run our nuclear facilities here to generate energy.
The US has promised to help us provided we enter into a Nuclear deal with them. For them it is a multi billion dolor trade. For us, it is a chance to use an alternate method to produce energy. The Prime Minister has agreed. Now the Americans are helping us get through the screening process which includes as clearance from IAEA and then NSG.
Nuclear fuel from the US will not be used for making weapon, it will only be used for civilian use. India will divide its nuclear facilities into defence and civilian. The country will continue with its defence nuclear plan with no interference from the international community.by