Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nuclear the Answer

India is a developing country, and one clear sign of that is the energy demand that its people have created since independence. India is the second most populated country in the world, and has the fifth largest installed capacity of electricity generation. To level those two numbers, the yard-stick to use is the per capita energy consumption, in which India is ranked beyond 140. In today’s scenario, India has a peak load demand of more than 12000 MW. India’s peak-hours shortfall rose by 0.4% in 2011. Clearly, the demand is exceeding the supply – 16000 MW of generation capacity was added from April to December in the same year.

Indian government plans to add 107000 MW to the installed capacity in the next five-years (2012-2017), having added only 70% of the set target of 52000 MW addition between the years 2007 and 2012. And, most of the power plants in place, and those about to be lined up, are thermal, especially, coal-based. As it is, coal based account for more than 55% of Indian power generation, and including other thermal sources, the number is 65%.

Let’s face it – coal is not going to last forever. Different people have different guesses for its extinction. Some say it will be gone by 2020, some say 2050. But, it will be gone very soon at the rate it is being consumed. We can only look at alternate sources of energy. Hydro is an easy option. Just that, you can tap the North-Eastern belly full of hydro energy potential, but have no-where to send it to in the difficult terrain. There is solar energy to tap, but at the cost that it made available for, Indians cannot afford it, even at the 40% subsidiary the government is willing to offer. Solar energy’s other deficiencies add up to its dismissal as the answer to overcoming the power shortfall. Wind energy, likewise, is very costly to install, wind farms are scarcely located and they are very inconsistent in generation for us, as a nation, to bank on for the demand.

The one answer, that may check all the boxes, however, is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is nothing new to anyone. It has been used around the world, benefiting millions of people. It caters to 15% of world’s electricity requirements. India has, as of 2011, 4800 MW of installed capacity off nuclear power plants, and ranks 15th in the world by generation.

Just to compare the numbers, India’s total installed capacity of power generation is around 185 GW, and USA’s installed nuclear power capacity alone comes to 101 GW. 75% of France’s electricity supply is fulfilled by nuclear power, and even sell it to neighbouring countries.
The most common nuclear fuel is Uranium.

Nuclear power is green. It is non-polluting – it does not cause air pollution, it does not pollute the water, nuclear waste disposal is well watched and is done under watchful eyes of IAEA and other international eyes with the sole interest to not do the environment any harm. Fear not.

To further eliminate any concern about nuclear waste disposal, the nuclear sector is planning to move towards breeder reactors, which will reprocess the spent fuel and recover upto an expected 95% of usable fuel for subsequent reactions nuclear reactions and thereby, generate more power with minimal wastes. As of today, reprocessing done is less, but it will rise as the number of breeder reactors rise.
Nuclear power has to find its support in India too. There are 18 reactors in India, supplying 4.8 GW. It is about time to add more to it. The amount of fuel required to generate electricity for any number of units, is much less than that of coal burnt to generate the same.

The Kudankulam Nuclear power Plant has an installed capacity of 2000 MW burning the pockets. And, more units weighing in at 4000 MW combined will be added to it soon. Tamil Nadu’s power deficiency alone exceeds 1600 MW. Time and again, nuclear watch-dogs from around the world have tested and left satisfied with the safety deployed at the plants at the Kudankulam. It is us people who need to dispel the unnecessary fears locked in our minds.

Let it be known that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was installed in the year 1971 – two years after Tarapur Atomic Power Station was in place – and the power plant at Fukushima needed an earthquake that measured 9 on the Richter Scale coupled with the gigantic forces of tsunami to cause damage that caught the attention of international eyes. Nothing survives disasters like that, nothing. It was catastrophic, yes. But, accidents cannot be seen as the reason to stop looking forward. Safety mechanisms are put in to avert as many disasters foreseeable as possible.

Technology is a wonderful asset. The Wright brothers crashed their flights in many of their trials, and then made their first successful glide of 120 feet. Today, we fly in planes that measure longer than that. we have seen accidents, and we have overcome those defects. We shouldn’t give up on something good.

India has been blessed with abundant deposits of Thorium, which is quite special. It is only justified if we can make use of this gift of nature and satisfy the hunger of energy demand that has landed upon us.

Hopefully, nuclear is now clear.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Television News MEDI(ocre)A

Dear television news media,

How are you?
Don't bother answering, I know you are as crap as crap can be.

No, I'm not well either. Thanks to you.

Because of you and the cronies in your flank, I've had stages of depression, anger, head-aches and mental fatigue. I'm pretty sure many others have had the same too. Let me explain. of course, you never know about these things. you are one of the flock-less bird in the cage of flock-less birds.

I ask you, what joy does it give you to incessantly report about a murder, its trials and its follow-up? Are you solving the case yourself? Are you getting paid to get it covered? Isn't it the court's responsibility to carry out trials and investigations and send in their verdict? Why, are you the police right now?

Someone died, someone's been murdered. Somebody lost his wife, someone lost her mother, someone lost his daughter, and you ask them "How it feels like? Who do you think is the victim?". My dear lunatic fool, will you leave them alone? They are in enough pain without your presence there. Go watch Peepli Live and then retire. Or retire first, as that will save a couple of hours of your service to the world of stupidity.

Also, the other nincompoop branch of your family is out there banging at the doors of an ICU unit of a hospital which hosts a child barely longer than the length of my forearm. Can you please leave the poor kid alone? Can you please keep your endlessly pointless nose out of the hospital? What ARE you trying to do there? A baby met with domestic violence. It's sad, I know. We all know. And we don't want you showing us uncomfortable pictures all day long. Do you know on how many days I have not been able to eat my lunch with pleasure because I accidentally look up at the TV and you show such depressing images?

Winnings sympathy, sympathy viewers? Do you want us to cry and weep in front of your office and watch all your utterly depressing video clips of murders, rapes, violence and bloodshed? Is that what your reporters cover all day? If you are jobless, go, grow crops. Go, help farmers. And go there without your camera, paper, pen and mobile phones. One thing is, that you can't do anything. The other thing, if at all you deny the first, is, that you can't do anything right. All you do is, pick a totally irrelevant piece that doesn't need the publicity - either because it is cheap, or because in that situation privacy is the need of the hour. And it is stupid either way.

And please punch that nephew of yours who interviews a poor chap shivering on the a platform besides a road somewhere in Kashmir and asks him "How cold is it? How are you coping up with this?". Inhumane, to say the least!

And why are you making headlines out of passengers stranded at airport? Has your flight never ever been delayed? And oh, what joy you receive by constantly telecasting replays of someone falling on the dais, or someone getting slapped, or someone getting hit by a thrown shoes; while anything that happened before or after that incidence in a meeting or lecture or discourse carried infinitely more reason to be shown instead?

But, of course, you are just a mongrel who likes to eat money, and will kill whatever to do so.

Why, take for example the brain-damaged fools who call themselves "News Channel", but all they show is replays of music shows, dance competitions, reality shows and award functions? Why would I be bothered about which guy hates which woman on some already height-of-disastrous-waste-of-time-and-money-and-common-sense reality show of unrealistic things which feels its publicity is directly in proportion to the number of times of swears during the length of the show? Why would I even want to turn on the news channel to learn about what happened when one man tried to cause a nervous breakdown in a dozen people? And that's not wrestling, that is supposed to be some singing competition. But that is a whole other dark ocean of utter stupidity.

Sports... You didn't leave that section alone either, did you? A man has a disease. He is already not at ease. And you lovely idiots want to poke him, his parents, his coach, his mentor, his buddies, his doctor, non-stop for weeks after weeks after weeks? If you fall ill, do you even like one person talking to you? Frankly, I go berserk when someone talks to me when I'm ill and on bed. You sold your heart, mind and soul to the devil, didn't you? The devil named money. In any which form, it comes down to money.

Do you even have decency in asking questions? Since when have you assumed yourself as the chief inspector of everything that's right in the world? One, you can't ask the right question. Two, you ask too many questions. Three, you say that it is your job to ask whatever and whichever question you want to, because you wear the cap of a journalist and demand an answer from the person at the other end of the noose. I'm serious when I say this - you are manner-less. Gone are the days I thought of interviews as strolling in a garden, sitting by the sides of a tea-table, sipping garam-a-garam chaai, happily answering the questions people have for a person. Today, it is in-front of a TV panel consisting of people who makes you think that the person being interviewed had raped one of them, stole the properties of the other, ate the limb of the third and put the blame of all three on the fourth. Come on, if you are not brain dead, I don't know what you are. Medical marvel? I advice the doctors to do something about these marvels, like, not let them loose, for example.

And another point which I saw more than an year ago, why would you send your daughter to a war torn country to cover a civil war? Especially when there are several people already covering it? You wish to say that some videos of tanks moving in the town, and bricks falling down and audio of gun-shots in the back-ground, all taken in a iPhone camera (because your cameraman got injured and had to escape death and couldn't save the camera), were all worth more than the lives of some people who were covering the event?

And remember, you are the media-men, not the ones who are supposed to be giving the suggestions and opinions. no one cares what you think about the polling, or who will win the case in court, or who should be selected to the indian cricket team. Mind your own business.

Sorry, I forgot that you can't.

I try my bet to not face televisions while at lunch, because all they play there is some news channel. And you definition of "news" is "whatever gives us money". At breakfast table, I run away from the room if a news channel is being played.

I don't need your torture to ruin a pleasant life that I'm having. I don't need to watch your news. It doesn't give me any knowledge, anyway.

May your soul rot in hell.

With loads of hatred,