Q. Recent international trend has been averse to the use of nuclear energy. In this light, discuss the reason inhibiting use of nuclear use energy. Also bring out the positive externalities arising from use of nuclear energy.

Structure of the answer:  

  • Introduction
  • Reason for averseness to the use of nuclear energy
  • Positive things in relation to use of nuclear energy
  • Conclusion

Model Answer

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam described nuclear power as a gateway to a prosperous future.  However, World Nuclear Association has reported that nuclear electricity generation in 2017 was at its lowest level since 1999. Even, Germany has decided to close all its nuclear plant by 2022.

The reason for risk aversion to the nuclear energy are as follows: 

  • The cost of construction of nuclear plants is too expensive. Thus, making the production of energy unviable.
  • Nuclear reactors are an unsafe proposition as seen from Chernobyl and Fukushima The cost of clean of Fukushima was estimated to be around $200 billion.
  • Further, there are inherent issues relating to the disposal of the nuclear waste.
  • The nuclear energy is also facing uphill task considering the reduced cost of production of renewable energy like solar and wind energy.
  • The issue has further been compounded by the confusion over the provisions of Civil liability for Nuclear damage Act, 2010.
  • Lastly, the issue of non membership of NSG, problem of land acquisition, regulatory hurdles are also major irritant in the widespread adoption of nuclear energy.

However, there are important benefits in relation to nuclear energy, such as:

  • Nuclear energy has the potential to resolve the issue of India’s continuous energy poverty. About 9 crore household have no access to electricity.
  • The nuclear energy can also help India in meeting the INDC target under Paris Climate treaty.
  • Besides, nuclear power can also reduce the impact of loss of foreign exchange, volatile fossil fuel prices and consequent impact on economic growth.
  • Further, many technologies of strategic importance have been mastered by India in its quest for use of nuclear energy.
  • Lastly, India has largest reserve of Thorium in the world thereby resolving the issue of import dependence of nuclear fuel.

Thus, in light of the above analysis it can be concluded that nuclear energy has a promising benefits for India and world. However, the inherent issues relating to it must be addressed holistically. 

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