Reality Check India

Nuclear deal – 16 rupees per unit

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on September 8, 2008

First, get your butt over to Barbarindians and read his take on the nuclear deal.

—–

I would like to add :

1. Why has there been almost no capacity addition in the past 5 years in states like Tamilnadu / Karnataka ?

2. What is wrong with coal based thermal plants ?

3. I pay Rs 3.50 per KwH (unit) for thermal and hydro power today. The estimate for nuclear power is Rs 16 per unit.

4. Farmers will expect free nuclear power too (esp the big ones). They need to power their A/Cs and 5 KW pumpsets. Who is going to foot the bill ?

5. Scientists will favour the deal for a variety of reasons, some of them purely professional in nature.

6. US Citizens of Indian origin who have lived half their lives in the US will favour the deal. Not important for obvious reasons.

7. I dearly hope they have war-gamed the scenario where Pakistan decides to test. In the Lok Sabha debates, I heard Pranab Mukherjee thunder “We dont need nuclear weapons to win a war”. Childlike innocence wins wars, perhaps ?

Some advantages of the deal.

1. Half constructed reactor, Kudankulam,  will finally see the light of day.

2. Perhaps we will see 3-4 GE reactors soon that will ease the power crisis. Hopefully metro areas like Mumbai, Noida, Gurgaon will benefit. We still have to address the business models of these reactors, of course !

3. Even without engaging with any of the above issues, the deal is good simply because “A deal is better than no deal”. At least this gives us an option of using nuclear power which we would not have without the deal. Who knows, maybe we can light up our streets like the Champs-EIysees. I am also guessing that without the deal, we would have to shut down all reactors shortly. We simply have no fuel left. In general, I am aligned with this view. The only pesky detail is the status and quality of the nuclear deterrent we have.

4. If we did not care about the quality of the nuclear deterrent, then most people would agree that the deal is better than no deal. The issue is then about choice not economics. There will be takers for both Kalyani Knock Out beer and expensive Cabernet Sauvignon wine. So, plowing along further in this line of thought, we then ask – “We have a kind-of-works deterrent, is that not good enough ?”. A little further, “Listen, this is about Kashmir and Pakistan – isnt it ?” Ultimately, what matters is the national consensus around this big ticket issue. Lately, there has been a spate of articles that are along the lines of “F** it – let em go !”. If the Indian state, represented SOLELY by the human beings in the parliament, shares this view then there is little sense opposing the deal. At least, I get to switch on my 2 ton split ai rconditioner in my swanky tax exempt SEZ apartment and finally get some peace and quiet.

Ok ! I will stop now.

My take :

If the nuclear deal is all about feeding power to a chronically energy starved India, the arguments for the deal must be in terms of the business of nuclear electric power. I do not think we have reached the dead end for thermal power (coal and gas plants). For comparison, coal makes up 70% of Chinas power. These are not old plants either, they upped their thermal capacity by 20%+ just in 2007-08.

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13 Responses

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  1. Vinod Sharma said, on September 8, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Read what I have written too, if you wish…it is easy to quote statistics to nit pick and miss the real bus!

  2. realitycheck said, on September 8, 2008 at 7:18 am

    >> it is easy to quote statistics to nit pick and miss the real bus!

    Oops, sorry. I should not have used statistics.

  3. reason said, on September 8, 2008 at 7:20 am

    The real bus appears to be obsessing with China and using some deductive reasoning that if china opposes, it is good for India. Hopefully nobody in China reads it. If they do they may be tempted to try it out to make Indians kill themselves with one simple statement. Yeah, statistics is bad. We’ve been told that before. Isn’t that the painful thing that works with data?

    Strange thing though, that when George Fernandes said china is the threat, there was such hell.

    yeah, sinnngghh is kinnnng.

    “Therefore, if a situation arises in future that necessitates a nuclear test, India will carry it out as a responsible nuclear power, after consultations with the Americans and others. If that constraint is unacceptable to the BJP, then that party is not fit to run this country.”

    Funny you said this and also speak of some undefined ‘strategic nuclear capability’. and you could have just spared the trouble and said BJP is unfit to run this country. Like they dont have enough sins already. Try Modi.

    after surrendering ‘strategic autonomy’, there will now be a mission to the moon. NO questions about the usefulness of a lunar mission in a nation of starving millions will be raised. sinnnnghhh is kinnnng. F*ck the black-money-fuelled inflation.

  4. reason said, on September 8, 2008 at 11:25 am

    http://specials.rediff.com/money/2008/sep/08sli1.htm

    would you call that capitalism or socialism or what?

    looks like *anyone* who gets something for free wont want to part with it. Particularly when you can easily blame it all on the evil Hindoo or the evil brahmin, and you dont even count the fun you can have with all that blaming.

  5. Sanjeev said, on September 8, 2008 at 11:58 am

    If anyone studies the American Politics, one can clearly see the influence of Corporations on American Gov’t. It wouldn’t be too foolish to say that American is a Corporatocracy rather than Democracy.

    So, going by that premise it is foolish to even think that American Parliament (Congress) wouldn’t pass the legislation to allow American Companies to do business. It just doesn’t make any business sense.

    No one has yet satisfactarily answered the question, as to why US is batting for India in NSG, against so many adversaries. Why is US spending is political capital on India? I believe answer lies in the American Businesses lobby which expects to get $300 Billion worth of business out of India through this deal.

    This deal is purely and simply a deal for American Businesses. Just like Iraq war is for Oil, and other things like WMD, “Liberation”, “Spread of Democracy” were smoke screens.

    However, the part that worries me most is that India Government has played straight into the America’s 3 decade old game of building leverages on nations. If one reads the book “Confessions of an Economic Hitmen”, they will clearly see the same pattern of deciet played by american against governments in South America and South East Asia.

    What is the pattern? First, Americans sell pipe dreams about big infrastructure projects i.e. Energy. Then they force Governments to buy goods from American companies. Now to buy good from Americans, those government need money. Where is India going to get those $300 Billions? From WordBank and IMF ofcourse, which will be in turn funded by America.

    Since, Indian will not be able to pay back the loans considering the Electricity situation in India, American will continue to build leverage on India. Besides, threating India with dire consequences of 123 Agreement on every thing going forward from now on.

    Of course this is the worst case scenario 🙂 But going by the current intelligence of Indian Politicians and seeing how hard Sonia Gandhi’s Government lied to Indian People at every turn about this deal, I don’t expect it to turn out better than what I have described.

    I wouldn’t be surprise if US Businesses/Government were the driving force behind “Vote for Money” scandal too. They are the biggest beneficiary after all.

  6. reason said, on September 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    “But going by the current intelligence of Indian Politicians”

    We wouldn’t worry so much about their intelligence. May be they are actually very intelligent – have you tried making billions in illegal means and spending only very little or no jail time for it?

  7. Timepass said, on September 8, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I would like to bring your attention the viewpoint of maverick.(indianmavericks.blogspot.com)

    1)He opines that india is sitting on a pile of dollar reserves.The dollar will depreciate inevitably because of flaws of US Consumerism and the attitude of the white middle class which believes that their entitlements are divinely ordained.He feels that the indian middle class has similar delusions.

    So the indian government might have decided to spend it on high tech investments.

    2)This will further indo-american strategic high tech partnership.

    American capital would like to invest in indian brains to work in areas ranging from nuclear power to hydrogen fuels to material science to nano technology to solar power.

    Since these would be long gestation projects,american capital would look for protection for their investments and a long term strategic relationship.

    3)He believes in a middle of the road,moderate,secular discourse.Ofcourse he is clueless about the designs of evangelists, jehadis,dravidian casteists,the environmental costs.

    But he opines that all these incongruous elements should somehow hang together for india to have any chance of survival.

  8. Amrutha said, on September 9, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I have lots of problems with your arguments. Check out my take on http://blog.amruthaupendran.com/2008/09/nuclear-power-is-not-bad-thing.html.
    That said, i quite appreciate your blog in general. Some of your posts are really well-written.

    Amrutha

  9. reason said, on September 9, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    i liked your blog. please visit my site where you can get prescription drugs and blue pills.

    looks like there is an effort to prove bloggers support the deal. but it gets funny.

  10. realitycheck said, on September 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Sandy,

    Thanks. That was a good read. I do not know why he clams up on TV though.

  11. realitycheck said, on September 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Amrutha,

    You have valid points too. It all depends on where each persons root positions are.

    I suppose you would also welcome us signing the CTBT and NPT too. In fact, we could have got a much better deal that way. (Trade in weapons grade material for fuel grade)

  12. Amrutha said, on September 12, 2008 at 7:26 am

    well…i am ambiguous on that really…i think this is good enough…the CTBT is not really impressive to me and the NPT is outright discriminatory.


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