Monday, 28 May 2012

Should Hindus be for or against nuclear power for India?

A friend forwards this mail that is apparently doing the rounds: 
"As on today, USA has 65 nuclear power plants which supplies 20% of total energy needs of that country.
"But in India, there are only 18 reactor's which supplies 4% of total energy requirements. Many NGO's are opposing Nuclear power for India.
"All these NGO's are mouth pieces of Christian west. Because If India's  poor Hindu's and Muslims gets electricity, their life will change, and in such circumstances it will be difficult to convert them to Christianity and convert India into a colony of Christian West by AD 2020.
"When Atomic Power is OK in Christian West, then why not OK in developing and under developed countries like India."

My response:
the message above is typical of many such mails doing the rounds among Indians.  Ignoring the assertions about numbers (which I have not had time to check), the mail is full of logical and factual errors.

1.  Actually, many Indian NGOs are anti-Western and anti-Christian (including Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, secular and other NGOs).  Further, many NGOs in the West itself are anti-Christian.

2.  Atomic power must be evaluated on three counts: what is the relative COST of nuclear versus other sources of electricity; what is its present (and likely-future) relative SAFETY RECORD; and what is India's record and future likelihood of being able to manage the SECURITY issues associated with nuclear power and nuclear waste. 

3. Nuclear power is supported as well as opposed both in India and in the West.

To sum up: nuclear power is not a matter of being pro- an anti-Western, pro-or anti-Christian, pro- or anti-Muslim, pro- or anti-Indian, or anything else. It is a matter of judgement regarding many imponderables.

Thoughtful people disagree,and will continue to disagree, about the relative merits of nuclear versus other sources of power IRRESPECTIVE of whether they are atheists, agnostics, religious, capitalists, socialists, environmentalists, or anything else.

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