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Colour of N-diplomacy isn't green

Diplomatic victories aren't necessarily environmental victories, writes Bharati Chaturvedi.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 23:05 IST

Diplomatic victories aren't necessarily environmental victories. That's clear from the nuclear agreement India just signed with the United States. One of the significant benefits touted is getting nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants.

Washington DC brought out its State of the World 2006 Report, themed on India and China. The meticulously compiled data showed that at best, nuclear energy can supply about 5 per cent of India's electricity. And that's after the government builds the planned 30 nuclear power plants.

In Germany, the last nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1989, almost 2 decades ago. And the new government has decided to carry on with the earlier policy of phasing out nuclear power plants, and develop non-conventional energy sources instead.

In fact, the German environment minister has said that since uranium supplies are finite, likely to run out in the next 20 years, it's unwise to invest there. What's India thinking?

Cool car cocktails

If you think I'm playing spoil-sport about nuke power, let me assure you lots of others have already begun finding other solutions.

Reports say a Japanese has found a means of converting dung into vehicular fuel and Dupont has invested in finding a way to convert corn and other carbo-rich materials into fuel, too. And guess who else has been showing enthusiasm about alternative energy? None less than George Bush himself.

In his State of the Union Address this year, he announced the Clean Energy Initiative, with 22 per cent hike allocated for research.

(If you feel for planet Earth, write toearthwatch1@yahoo.co.in)

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 23:05 IST