Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ramifications of the Indo-U.S. Nuke deal – economic benefits,advantages and disadvantages



Update : Co-Sponsor of the bill, from the Democrats, Joseph Biden has been nominated as the Vice President along side Barack Obama. He is a strong backer of the deal - lets keep our fingers crossed until the results!! Read more>>

For almost 30 years the U.S. has been at the fore of aglobal fight to deny India access to Nuclear power technology, because it developed nuclear weapons and tested them.(Cruel Hypocrisy really,considering that the U.S. were among the earliest nations to develop nuclear weapons and test them)

Now after nearly three decades India have been offered a golden opportunity to emerge out of their nuclear seclusion and be at par with the top nations of the world in terms of nuclear energy output.

At present nuclear power production in India accounts for only a measly 3% of the total generation of 120,000 MW. Large scale nuclear power production would also mean less dependence on traditional sources of non-renewable fuel such as coal,oil and petroleum. Abundant nuclear power production would obviously lead to a fall in fuel and electricity prices.It especially holds relevance as a promising new alternative in the face of price rise and fall in oil output.

The fruits of total privatisation are seen in the telecom sector. Gone are the days when a cellphone was an item of luxury beyond the reach of the common man.

The nuclear deal could mean a similar privatisation in the energy. According to a report in Bloomberg,multinationals such as Westinghouse,Rosatom,GE and Areva have expressed a keen interest in operating a nuclear power plant in India,should the government encourage private investment. Indian companies such as Tata power and Reliance Energy are more than eagerly open to such a proposition.

But how does the U.S benefit from the deal?

A valid question. The U.S. would be supplying India with both nuclear technology and reactors,should the deal progress beyond endless chatter and talks. The U.S.A. is projected to mint over $150 billion of the deal.

That precisely is what the Left is worried about. The deal would mean that India is completely dependent on the U.S. for supply of technology and reactors. This places India in a vulnerable position,open to being exploited for the U.S. would be able to dictate the price,terms and conditions as they please.

Verdict

The pros outweigh the cons and hence India should go with the deal. They must however not haggle so much and must make a quick decision.In any case the deal will not bring change or improve the lives of the people who constitute the real India-India lives in small towns and villages,not metropolitan cities or big towns,and I'm afraid that the deal is going to benefit only the latter.

What is your take on the nuke deal?Is it a boon or a bane? We are open to all your views and criticisms.We encourage you to leave behind a comment on the comments page.

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