Sunday, 4 March 2012

Is Atomic Energy Safe?

Anti-Nuclear Plant Rally
India i.e. Bharat is thirsty and hungry for energy. It is commonly accepted that per capita energy consumption is significantly low in India. However even this low demand is not met by the existing energy infrastructure. India need dependable source of energy. There is lot said about solar energy. It is considered safe and that is true to a great extent. However, harnessing energy at one place and utilising at some other place also would create environmental imbalance. Conventional sources of energy are also responsible for this energy imbalance. Therefore there is need to accept this imbalance and find a solution to meet energy needs unless we decide not to use any other energy source except muscle power.

Nuclear Plant at Fukushima
Planned evacuation of affected

Fukushima disaster has created concern in minds of people about safety of atomic energy. There is concern about migration of people and loss of conventional ways to earn bread. However, we need to analyse reasons of disaster and take adequate steps to avoid it in future. Learning from past experience is welcome but saying no to it not advisable. Our concern should be to learn from past experience and take adequate steps to avoid not only what happened in past but also what is anticipated in future. For example, while designing plant at Fukushima expected earthquake intensity on Richter scale was taken as 6.5, where as it had been 8.5 (More informationis available here:) We should learn that present intensity and future expected intensity may differ widely. Therefore, while designing much higher intensity must be considered. Fukushima plant had been provided with many facilities including plan for evacuation of people during mishap. While constructing a new plant higher precaution must be taken while not ignoring existing facilities. The plant must be safe in every respect and in case of disaster there must be facilities to cope up with inescapable necessities and unexpected disaster. The plant can be constructed with utmost care and safety can be ensured. In spite of this some disaster takes place that would be an accident.
Another aspect is migration of existing population and their bread earning. The people who would be benefited with electrical energy must sacrifice towards affected people. This means the government should take care that migration is negligible and the affected people don't face any extra-ordinary problem in earning their livelihood. The government must avoid migration, provide uninterrupted monthly income to both land owners and landless labour and take land on hire with say 999 years lease. Land acquisition law would need changes. This must be done to assure people that their sacrifice is well taken by entire nation and they shall not be left to suffer. To avoid migration formula of redistribution should be used. Consider say 10 to 20 times more area than required for the development work. All land owners in this area would give 5 to 10 % land on rental basis. The rent formula is 0.67% (or 8.04% per annum) of assessed value of the land every month (or every year). Assessment shall be carried out on 1st day of April every year. Assets cost every year would change roughly at the rate of 5-10 % per annum over preceding year's cost. This would be a regular income for land owners instead of purchasing land and giving lump sum compensation. Land owners on the periphery of the marked area shall do away with 5 to 10% of land. They shall not be migrates even by a millimetre. Those next towards the centre of the land shall give 5 to 10% land and they would shift towards the periphery. This would continue till all land owners land is redistributed and land for the development work is taken over by the government. This way not a single land owner would migrate. The only difference shall be their respective land holding shall be reduced by 5 to 10% and they shall get monthly (or yearly) compensation at a fixed percentage of the land cost assessed every year on 1st of April. This compensation shall be paid not only to the present land owners but to their legal heirs in future also. The government may return land any time when it is no more needed but the owners shall have no right to ask for the land back. With this method all land owners would willingly offer their land. Problem of landless labour also needs to be addressed. They also must not migrate and earn their livelihood in present and in the future. The landless labour may or may not have skills suitable to the development work. If not they must be given training and offered suitable job. This should not only for the present generation but their legal heir also. There may be some who wish to continue their traditional work like say fishing. On account of development work shallow water fishing is restricted or not possible. The solution may be deep water fishing. However they might not be provided with necessary equipment. The government must provide with all necessary equipment free on one time basis. The government must take one additional step to construct residential houses for all and storage facility for produce in the area. Residential houses must be given free and storage charges (rental for the warehouse) may be charged at 50% of rates prevailing from time to time. This way landless labour also need not migrate and their all problems shall be properly addressed.
If these changes are made in the present policy, there shall be no resistance from the locals whether land owners or landless.

No comments:

Popular Posts