Skip to main content

India-US nuclear deal will allow MNC Westinghouse to supply "untested, expensive" technology to Gujarat

MV Ramana                     Suvrat Raju 
By Our Representative
A major danger awaits Gujarat, if two senior physicists are to be believed. Suvrat Raju and MV Ramana, who have worked as scholars in the US, have said that the “most baffling feature” of the recent nuclear deal between the US and India is that it would allow Westinghouse, the top US company which has entered into an agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), to supply two nuclear reactors for the proposed Mithi Virdi nuclear power plant in Gujarat which are “expensive and untested”.
According to the two scientists, the offer to “sell” the reactor designs – Westinghouse AP1000 – for Mithi Virdi “is not in commercial operation anywhere and has encountered difficulties wherever it is being built.” The scientists have added, “At Plant Vogtle, in the US state of Georgia, Westinghouse and its partner Georgia Power have sued each other for a billion dollars over cost increases and delays. Even in China, the AP1000 has been delayed by about two years because of problems with reactor coolant pumps.”
The scientists have said, the Vogtle plants were “initially estimated to cost about $7 billion apiece”. And, “even accounting for lower construction costs in India” they would actually “translate into electricity tariffs that are as high as Rs 15 per unit.” According to them, “If the government is looking for cheap electricity to promote development, importing American reactors hardly seems like a smart choice.”
Significantly, this is half as much Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed the solar power would cost in Gujarat when the was the state's chief minister – just about Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 per unit. "Due to the efforts made by the Gujarat government, the cost of solar power has come down to Rs 8.50 per unit from Rs15 per unit," Modi had said while opening 600 MW of power plants in 2012 at Charanka in North Gujarat.
As for the General Electric's (GE’s) Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), selected for the proposed Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), the two scientists said, “After years of questions about ESBWR’s steam dryer, the design obtained regulatory approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission — the first step before construction can commence — only in September 2014. There are no firm orders for the ESBWR.”
While Raju has been a Harvard scholar and is currently with the at the the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, which is part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Ramana did his higher studies at Boston and Princeton and has worked at the the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development in Bangalore. Both are physicists with the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace.
The revelation comes amidst accusation by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Ahmedabad that through the recent agreement the US multinational corporations are proposing to “dump” old, untested technology in India, at a time when they stopped installing nuclear reactors in the US. Talking with newspersons, economist Hemant Shah said, “The deal is merely meant to revive the dead nuclear armament companies, and the Modi government has just capitulated.”

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.