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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

India will keep is ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy

flag-indiaNo-first-use nuclear policy to stay: Rajnath Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times  13 Apil 14, The BJP will leave unchanged India’s stand not to be the first side to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, the party said Sunday, ending speculation about one of the defining principles of New Delhi’s foreign policy. The no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons was a well thought out stand of the NDA government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee. We don’t intend to reverse it,” BJP chief Rajnath Singh told HT.

Party leaders say the policy has not only boosted India’s standing in the international community but also gives a certain amount of leverage in foreign-policy matters.

 Central to New Delhi’s nuclear doctrine — drawn up by the Vajpayee government after a series of nuclear tests in 1998 and followed by the successive UPA governments — is that India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons nor will it use them against a non-nuclear country……http://www.hindustantimes.com/elections2014/election-beat/no-first-use-nuclear-policy-to-stay-rajnath/article1-1207761.aspx

April 15, 2014 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

If India’s govt changes its “no first use” nuclear weapons policy, – it’s a mockery of disarmament policy

ballot-boxSmFormer Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is widely expected to win the elections advocates changing India’s policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons

flag-indiaCan a nuclear-weapons state champion disarmament? Japan Times BY RAMESH THAKUR 9 April 14 Forty-four years after the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, the world still finds itself perilously close to the edge of the nuclear cliff. The cliff is perhaps not quite as steep as it was in the 1980s, when there were more than 70,000 nuclear weapons compared to today’s 17,000, but going over it would be fatal for planet Earth.

Authoritative road maps exist to walk us back to the relative safety of a denuclearized world, but a perverse mixture of hubris and arrogance on the part of the nine nuclear-armed states (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) exposes us to the risk of sleepwalking into a nuclear disaster.

For nuclear peace to hold, deterrence and fail-safe mechanisms must work every single time. For nuclear Armageddon to break out, deterrence or fail-safe mechanisms need to break down only once. This is not a comforting equation.

Deterrence stability depends on rational decision-makers being always in office on all sides: a dubious and not very reassuring precondition. It depends equally critically on there being no rogue launch, human error or system malfunction: an impossibly high bar.

According to one U.S. study reported by Eric Schlosser last year, more than 1,200 nuclear weapons were involved in significant incidents from 1950-68 because of security breaches, lost weapons, failed safety mechanism or accidents resulting from weapons being dropped or crushed in lifts………

an increasing number of voices are demanding that the sole function of nuclear weapons, as long as they exist, should be to deter a nuclear attack, all the nuclear armed states should join together to establish a global no-first-use norm.

It is simplistic to dismiss “no first use” as merely declaratory, easily ignored in wartime. A universal no-first-use policy by all nine nuclear-armed states would have considerable practical import with flow-on requirements for nuclear force posture and deployment — for example, de-alerting (taking warheads off hair-trigger alert), de-mating (separating warheads from delivery systems) and de-targeting. This strengthened norm of nonuse would then lay the groundwork for further gradual reductions in the number of nuclear warheads held by the various nuclear armed states and their eventual elimination through a nuclear weapons convention.

Ramesh Thakur is director of the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Australian National University, and coeditor of the recently published four-volume reference set “Nuclear Politics” (2014).

April 10, 2014 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India may abandon its ‘no first use’ policy on nuclear weapons

missile-risingflag-indiaIndia’s BJP puts ‘no first use’ nuclear policy in doubt Yahoo 7 News, April 8, 2014, By Sanjeev Miglani and John Chalmers NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely tipped to form the next government, pledged on Monday to revise the country’s nuclear doctrine, whose central principle is that New Delhi would not be first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

Unveiling its election manifesto, the party gave no details,

but sources involved in drafting the document said the “no-first-use” policy introduced after India conducted a series of nuclear tests in 1998 would be reconsidered……..http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/22459963/indias-bjp-puts-no-first-use-nuclear-policy-in-doubt/

April 8, 2014 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Renewable energy projects funded jointly by India and UK

UK and India jointly fund renewable energy R&D projects, Optic.org
27 Mar 2014
UK universities, Indian research center and Tata Steel aim “to revolutionize” solar energy collection and storage techniques. Researchers from the University of Surrey, UK, have been awarded funding “of the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds” by the UK and Indian governments to support two photonics-based R&D projects which will explore how nanotechnology can benefit the future of renewable energy – both in its generation and storage. Awarded to researchers from the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, both programs, which commenced in the first quarter of 2014, will involve close collaboration between universities in the UK and India over the coming two years, as well as with Tata Steel Research and Development UK.

Project 1 – Solar energy

The first project will bring together researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Hyderabad, India, with collaborators from Tata Steel Research and Development UK to investigate how to better capture and store solar energy with an approach known as “inorganics-in-organics”, in which composite materials work together to increase efficiency. Tata Steel will provide its fuel cell expertise, partnering research with industry to provide technologies for improved energy generation and storage.

Project 2 – ZnO gas sensors

The second project will examine the use of zinc oxide nanomaterials in ultra-high sensitivity gas sensors. These gas sensors can be used in environmental monitoring devices to deliver improved sensitivity and increased energy efficiency…….http://optics.org/news/5/3/38

March 28, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Toxicologist finds high levels of cancer caused by uranium in water

cancer_cellsflag-indiaSA toxicologist’s study says higher uranium causes cancers in Malwa http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/SA-toxicologists-study-says-higher-uranium-causes-cancers-in-Malwa/articleshow/32114888.cms  ,TNN | Mar 16, 2014 FARIDKOT: Excessive presence of uranium in water in the Malwa region of Punjab is turning out disastrous for the residents of rural areas and is giving birth to cancer, neurological and birth abnormality. Taking leads from her study on the subject, South African clinical metal toxicologist Dr Carin Smit has confirmed that excess prevalence of uranium in human bodies is the biggest reason of cancer in Malwa region of Punjab. The Union and state government in the past had negated the affect of uranium in cancer incidence.  Dr Smit had obtained hair samples of 149 children with deformities in 2009 and urine samples in 2010 and had sent these to Micro Trace mineral laboratory in German where it was established that excess prevalence of uranium has caused deformities. These children are being treated at Faridkot. As per Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), the uranium level here have reached up to 1000 parts per billion(ppb) against permissible limit of 15ppb, she said. 

While visiting Baba Farid Centre for Special Children on Saturday, Dr Smit based her submission on a study carried out in Finland in the past and said, “Uranium toxicity is much more there as compared to Malwa region of Punjab but spray of fertilizers is filtered and eating habits are much more safe there, but in Punjab the use of fertilizers, pesticides is at much higher levels, which is leading to cancer and deformities among persons.”

Dr Carin finds faults in the state approach in tackling such an important issue with grave seriousness. She said, “Desiring to conduct a full study to establish excess uranium presence leading to cancer incidence, I had written to Punjab government in 2013 to provide infrastructure to conduct the study with Japanese scientists but an still waiting the government response.”  Claiming that presently Punjab is passing through a bad phase on health and environment front, she accused the state government of not being serious to tackle the issue. She said despite knowing the seriousness of the issue, the state government is doing nothing to provide respite to people. “Though courts are serious but the governments are not and Punjab government is not providing proper findings to the court in one petition related to uranium giving birth to cancer in the state,” said Dr Pritpal singh and Amar Singh Azad of Baba Farid centre.

She said a study published recently in a research journal titled ‘Comparing metal concentration in the hair of cancer patients and healthy people living in Malwa region of Punjab’ by scientists from USA and Germany too had mentioned higher toxicity as reason for cancer.

March 17, 2014 Posted by | health, India, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

Nuclear Iran less of a worry than nuclear India and Pakistan?

The evolution of South Asia’s nuclear powers, Journal Pioneer,  Henry Srebrnik  on January 26, 2014 While much of the world’s attention these days is focused on Iran’s nuclear program, it should not be forgotten that its eastern neighbours, Pakistan and India, South Asia’s two largest countries and long-time enemies, both are nuclear-armed states.

India is not a party to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and tested what it called a “peaceful nuclear explosive” in 1974. The test was the first after the creation of the NPT, and India’s secret development of nuclear weaponry, using civilian nuclear technology, caused great concern and anger from nations such as Canada, that had supplied its nuclear reactors for peaceful and power generating needs……..

India is also expanding its ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons, according to a U.S.-based think tank that cited satellite imagery taken last April of a gas centrifuge facility under construction at the Rare Materials Plant near Mysore in Karnataka.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) published a report in 2013 stating that this new facility “could significantly increase India’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons.”

Pakistan, too, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and built its first nuclear power plant near Karachi with equipment and materials supplied mainly by western nations in the early 1970s. Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had promised in 1965 that if India built nuclear weapons then Pakistan would too, “even if we have to eat grass.”……http://www.journalpioneer.com/Opinion/Columnists/2014-01-26/article-3591613/The-evolution-of-South-Asia%26rsquo%3Bs-nuclear-powers/1

January 27, 2014 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Madhya Pradesh. India, takes to renewable energy in a big way

Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore being implemented in Madhya Pradesh Economic Times India By Shreya Jai, ET Bureau | 23 Jan, 2014 NEW DELHI: Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are being implemented in Madhya Pradesh, which have quietly reached out to companies and attracted GE, Reliance Power, Spanish wind major Gamesa and others, giving tough competition to Gujarat in the sector.

The buzz of activity has catapulted the state to the top slot of renewable energy in the country where Narendra Modi’s Gujarat was hailed as the most successful state in the sector. MP’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has accelerated the state’s drive for renewable energy, helping it expand rapidly and kickstart many projects, including 4,600 mw of being executed, state government officials said……http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/renewable-energy-projects-worth-rs-30000-crore-being-implemented-in-madhya-pradesh/articleshow/29226247.cms

January 24, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear capable missiles and submarines program

India test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile,TNN | Jan 7, 2014, NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday morning test-fired its nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile, which has a strike range of 350-km, from the integrated test range at Chandipur off the Odisha coast as part of “a scenario-based live launch training exercise”. ……

India is also planning to conduct more tests of the 3,500-km Agni-IV and the over 5,000-km Agni-V, which is a genuine ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile), to prepare them for induction by 2016 or so. Agni-V brings the whole of China — including its northernmost city of Habin – and Asia as well as parts of Europe, Africa and Australia within its strike envelope…….
The lack of a long-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), however, remains a big gap in India’s nuclear deterrence capabilities. But some progress is expected on this front as well with 750-km K-15 SLBM slated for test-firing when the country’s first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant goes for “sea trials” later this year.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-test-fires-nuclear-capable-Prithvi-II-missile/articleshow/28523357.cms

January 8, 2014 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kerala, India can meet energy demand with 95% renewable sources

Renewable Energy Prospects Bright: Report By Express News Service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM1st January 2014  Kerala can meet over 95 per cent of its energy demand using renewable energy sources by the year 2050, according to a report released the other day.

The Energy Report – Kerala, prepared by WWF-India and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) Pune, is a state-specific report that provides a vision for a 100-per cent renewable and sustainable energy supply in another three decades.

After modelling energy demand scenarios for various sectors for the projected time period, the report analyses the potential of various renewable energy sources in the state.

One significant contributor to the future renewable energy mix – and for the moment unpopular, at least in the current political scene – is solar power.

The estimation of solar power potential in Kerala, as per the report, is around 44,456 MW.

Out of this, 31,145 MW alone can be got from rooftops of households and commercial establishments.

“This is after factoring in exclusion factors such as shaded areas of roofs and tiled roofs,” World Institute of Sustainable Energy director general G M Pillai said while presenting the report.

“Existing buildings in Kerala can also revamp their roofs to accommodate solar panels.”

Similarly, the report has come out with figures for wind (off-shore and onshore), small hydro, bio-energy and wave power potential…….http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Renewable-Energy-Prospects-Bright-Report/2014/01/01/article1976387.ece

January 2, 2014 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

India: political opposition to nuclear energy program

AAP to support nuclear plant stir, says Bhushanhttp://www.indianexpress.com/news/aap-to-support-nuclear-plant-stir-says-bhushan/1213139/ PTI : Tirunelveli, Mon Dec 30 2013 AAP leader Prashant Bhushan Sunday said the party always supported the cause of people’s movement against nuclear energy at Kudankulam and would always be with the people. Addressing members of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy at Idinthakarai near the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Bhushan assured his party’s support to the ongoing agitation against KNPP. “We always opposed nuclear energy and also the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. We supported the cause of PMANE in difficult times,” he said.

“The national political scenario was looking for a substitute to BJP and Congress. Both these national parties are tainted. So the people of our country installed AAP in power at Delhi,” he said.

January 1, 2014 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power program could be called off, may be unaffordable

scrutiny-on-costsCost of nuclear power proving high, DAE in a fix  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cost-of-nuclear-power-proving-high-DAE-in-a-fix/articleshow/27920490.cms  PTI | Dec 25, 2013, NEW DELHI: As the cost of electricity generation by nuclear power plants, to be set up with the help of French and American companies, is turning out to be on the higher side, the department of atomic energy is in a fix over how to bring down the cost.

flag-indiaOn one hand, it is involved in hard negotiations with the companies and on the other hand, sources said, if the cost per unit turns out to be too expensive, then it may not even pursue the project with collaborators

The estimated cost by the DAE for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) in Maharashtrais around Rs 9 per unit while the cost for Mithi Virdhi Nuclear Power Project is around Rs 12 per unit.

Currently, the DAE is in negotiations with French company Areva to build six EPR reactors of 1650 MW each at Jaitapur.  Sources pointed out that initial estimates state the cost of the project to be around Rs 27-30 crore per megawatt and the cost per unit to be around Rs 9 per unit in 2021.  Speaking to reporters in Mumbai last month, RK Sinha, DAE secretary, had said a competitive per unit tariff of Rs 6.50 has been estimated in the year of completion of Jaitapur project in 2020-21.

In the case of Mithi Virdhi project where American company Westinghouse Electric is providing AP-1000 reactors, the cost per megawatt is coming to around Rs 40 crores while the cost per unit is around Rs 12.

Although this project is yet to reach the advanced negotiations stage, the DAE has already signed an early works agreement with Westinghouse Electric.  The DAE is skeptical about the proposal due to its high cost.  It states that the cost per unit from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) unit 1 and 2 is around Rs 3.50 to Rs 4 per unit.

“If we take inflation into consideration, even then the cost is very high. We are also answerable to people. Plus, there is a lot of opposition to nuclear projects where we have foreign collaborators.  If nothing works out, then we will, perhaps, have to back out because of the high electricity generation cost from the project,” a senior DAE official said.

December 26, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, India | 2 Comments

Nice timing India! – Christmas test of nuclear capable missile

India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-III missile  By PTI | 23 Dec, 2013,  BALASORE:India today successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km as part of a user trial by the Army from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast…http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-test-fires-nuclear-capable-agni-iii-missile/articleshow/27799307.cms.

December 24, 2013 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power system – just not safe!

safety-symbol-Smflag-indiaHarsh criticism for India’s nuclear safety regime December 21, 2013  Delhi: India’s nuclear safety regime is “fraught with grave risks”, a parliamentary committee has reported, saying the country’s nuclear regulator was weak, under-resourced and  “slow in adopting international benchmarks and good practices in the areas of nuclear and radiation operation”.

The bipartisan Public Accounts Committee tabled a scathing 81-page report  in India’s parliament, critical of the decades-long delay in establishing an independent regulator for the nuclear-armed country. Continue reading

December 21, 2013 Posted by | India, safety | Leave a comment

Canada joins the scramble to sell uneconomic nuclear power to India

India, Canada aim for closer ties , THE HINDU, SANDEEP DIKSHIT  , 15 DEC 13  After 40 years, the countries are entering into partnership in civil nuclear energy

fighters-marketing-1

India and Canada are aiming for closer partnerships in civil nuclear energy and hydrocarbons with the dissipation of distrust that had kept them estranged for 40 years after India conducted a nuclear test in 1974……relationship would be supplemented by a “collaborative approach” in the civil nuclear sector, decks for which have been cleared with the signing of a civil nuclear accord and finalising of the administrative arrangements, High Commissioner for Canada to India Stewart Beck told The Hindu…….

“We are now putting in force a civil nuclear partnership. India has several reactors derived from Canadian technology but since then it has gone on its own path of development. We are now in a situation where the two can talk to each other. There is a huge need in India of Uranium which we can sell,” said Mr. Beck……http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-canada-aim-for-close-partnership-in-civil-nuclear-deal/article5462847.ece

December 16, 2013 Posted by | Canada, India, marketing | Leave a comment

Indian families lose legal case over land taken for nuclear

HC rejects PIL for jobs for land losers in Nuclear plant TNN | Dec 15, 2013, AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has turned down a PIL demanding jobs for families whose land had been taken over for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kakrapar in south Gujarat. The court rejected the PIL on the ground that the petition was filed 24 years after the project took off and nearly 40 years after the land was acquired.

Residents of Moticher and Unchamata villageshad filed the PIL and sought the high court’s direction to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to give jobs to members of the families whose land was acquired for the project in 1976. They cited a resolution passed in 1989 that the project-affected families will be benefited by granting members jobs in the plant. ………http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/HC-rejects-PIL-for-jobs-for-land-losers-in-Nuclear-plant/articleshow/27419606.cms

December 16, 2013 Posted by | India, Legal | Leave a comment

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