Caution is key

Energy is undoubtedly one of the biggest essentials in the growth of any country. While fossil fuel still dominates, developed nations have been focusing on renewable energy for quite a while now.

Germany tops the list with renewable energy at more than 12 per cent of its total use and the UK follows with 11 per cent. On the other hand, countries such as China and India have high ambitions for expansion of nuclear energy capabilities to meet rising energy needs. While India produces more than 3 per cent of its energy through its 20 nuclear power plants, seven more plants are under construction. The country, it is said, targets 25 per cent nuclear production by 2050. With high ambitions, the government is now considering opening the country’s nuclear power sector to foreign direct investment.

There are several areas of great concern for a country such as India before going ahead with approving such a proposal. One of the biggest factors is whether the nation is ready to accept nuclear energy as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The country has already witnessed instances of local populace fighting nuclear projects tooth and nail.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is a standing example of people’s unease. Although the project is currently producing electricity, the local population, including fishermen, has protested against its operations for long. There were concerns that the project was changing the microclimate of the area for the worse.

The water released from the project into the ocean was believed to be causing a rise in ocean temperatures in the vicinity and leading to decimation of fish population. There were also concerns about radiation poisoning and other health related ill effects on people.

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