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Nuclear Energy in India

Nuclear Energy in India

As of 2016, India had 22 nuclear reactors operating in 8 power plants. Nuclear power ranked fourth in the nation’s electricity sources, after thermal, hydroelectric, and renewable energy. These reactors had a combined capacity of 6780 MW, making a notable contribution to India’s energy mix.

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Arguments for Nuclear Energy

  • India needs nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions and replace coal.
  • With over 70% of oil, 40% of gas, and 20% of coal imported, nuclear energy is vital for long-term energy security.
  • While renewable energy is the future, nuclear power is crucial insurance.
  • India’s hydro power varies, with runoff-the-river plants generating as little as 10% during lean months compared to peak months.
  • Incorporating nuclear power diversifies the energy system and enhances security.
  • Efficient and timely installation of nuclear plants makes them economically attractive for India.
  • Energy security is paramount for sustaining India’s growth at 7 to 8 percent, with nuclear energy contributing significantly to this goal.

Arguments against Nuclear Energy

  • Global sentiment is shifting against nuclear energy, with increasing concerns about its safety and sustainability.
  • Nuclear energy production incurs high comparative costs, especially when contrasted with the declining costs of solar.
  • Nuclear projects require significant capital investment for job creation, which can deter investors due to the lengthy timeframes for returns.
  • Non-conventional sources like solar energy demand comparatively lower initial capital and offer quicker returns on investment, making them more attractive in cost-benefit analyses.
  • Project delays are common in nuclear energy development, leading to further cost escalation and diminishing economic viability.
  • The disposal of radioactive waste and the inherent risk of nuclear accidents add prohibitive costs and safety concerns to nuclear energy production.
  • The risks and costs associated with nuclear energy disproportionately affect low-income communities, leading to significant resistance against the establishment of nuclear reactors in local areas.
  • The threat of nuclear weapons proliferation adds another layer of concern surrounding nuclear energy production, amplifying global apprehension.
  • Nuclear energy relies on uranium, a scarce resource found in limited countries. Once depleted, nuclear plants become obsolete, further undermining the long-term sustainability of nuclear energy.

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