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Welcome GST Towards speedy justice Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A more liberated TN… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... The brown list of Venkitaramanan Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Polls and promises Paytm karo... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Parliament in paralysis... When the President was rendered homeless… B H Kothari - a tribute When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's A yen for wastage… Cutting the nose to spite the face Building loyalty through the stomach Align crops to agro climate endowments… GM Technology at last! Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS When online building permits work…. An enemy’s enemy is a friend Why land prices zoom in TN? Fortune for Indian Airlines Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more China invests in India TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Preserving for the future Make standards certification mandatory... The rise and rise of KCP Of course, Gujarat is vibrant The star of Spencers is no more Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! TELANGANA at last…BUT Haul over the coal Robber barons everywhere Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... TIAM turns a full cycle The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Protest masters... Shale gas and its shallow future Intellectual of rare qualities Quality silica from Neyveli Fortune 500 review L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Delhi returns to BJP A think tank for Chennai Delhi is distant An inexplicable neglect The sea- saw battle continues... Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform This scant respect for Law Silver Years of Madras Musings Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Discoms deserve better… Tatas moving out of urea production... When nations steal growth from one another… He continues the focus on social amelioration ONGC at KG Basin Five star activism stalls development activity Tribute Why this malaise in medical education? He saved millions from starvation... Where is Rajaji? A welcome initiative by the judiciary Revving up the manufacturing sector More tributes to GR Boy, can you beat these? How Air-India loses customs... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Build close rapport with business leaders Banning booze... Editor's Notes Mersal magnified Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Sweeter prospects for sugar TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Gas is the way forward Noble nonagenarians... No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Fuel for thought Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Wise Presidents Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Come elections, come advertisements... Kinetic Karnataka IPL type auction for VCs? Medical costs hit the roof... Kulandai was a giant An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Mu Sigma – is no more Moily’s bold thrust Tough task taking states together Modi storms Silicon Valley Welcome focus on core competence The Jan Dhan bonanza Multi-faceted Venkat A friendly business group The Swadeshi Trump Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Where a state respects its litterateurs… Strengthen the base... CII projects higher growth… The power-full Hindujas Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Should we change the official year? 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Contrarian cousins Valli, they are more marginalised Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Remembering Indira Sivasailam... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... West Bengal: mindless malignancy Return to king coal for urea... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Nuclear power at the nucleus More heat than light No engine for this car Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Sri Lanka votes for change CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. IAS invades NDDB... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Funding the un-funded Tax agriculture No Maha Koottani in TN... TGS- The king storyteller The why of tax incentives …and of a popular trade leader Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Vibrant Gujarat Maximising the micro pricing … Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Modi and the lady London, London Narayan Pharma – overdose of copying Kudos to NDTV... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Small units prefers to remain small... For whom the bell tolls? Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Streamlining mandatory third party cover IPL - no surprise this scam EVM is tamper-proof When small is no larger beautiful.. EEC at the National Media Centre Russi Mody – a tribute Roaring Ro-Ro facility Sweet news for TN sugar mills CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Solar, solar everywhere … SoA @ 80 The Gulf aviation boom S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines A glass full of corruption Muffled voices for merit… Delhi Chalo... A proud Madrasi Put expensive assets created to use... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy The few handicaps... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Making ‘my Amaravati’... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The balancing act Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Cement prices continue to rise… Editor's Says CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Convulsions in The Hindu A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Quality education through the PPP mode Things happen by accident and not by design... When Ratan Tata visited SRM Breaththrough in malaria control The nuclear option Readers' Mail Poor quality of university VCs Delhi is distant… R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Rahman at CIC A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Which side are you, Montek? Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Shanti and Sadhana through Music A professional at the helm of IRDA... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… PC’s preference for professionals The rise and fall of Annamalai University Secularism and anti-Hinduism WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Demise of a media baron... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Solar thermal shines… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Tatas moving out of urea production... Road development slows down Adharma of opposition politics
 
The nuclear option

Manmohan Singh and the UPA I & II governments had great ideas on power development. Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) and the nuclear deal are two great examples. These had the promise of achieving large additions in quick time. Sadly, both failed to take off on promised lines. The UMPP suffered by faulty ground work and the unrealistic stipulation of supply of power at fixed prices over the long term. Can such a commitment be made when there was no guarantee of supply of coal at fixed prices for decades? Neither the policymakers nor the companies that bade for this bothered to look closely at this premise. When global coal prices shot up, the UMPP idea bombed. Reliance Infrastructure that won 3 x 4000 MW projects just bade for time to get the government agree to revise the original condition of supply of power at fixed price . Tata Power was the only company to proceed ahead with construction and complete the project but had to plead for revision. Thus, the 36,000 MW project cleared witnessed just 4000 MW off the ground over ten years.

In regard to nuclear power it is equally tardy. Singh initiated the nuclear deal with the US in July 2005. He staked his all in getting this passed by the Parliament amidst a stiff opposition from the leftists who supported the UPA I government and did succeed. But, years later there had been slow progress in convincing nuclear suppliers to support the Indian initiatives. The Fukushima disaster further lent strength to the anti-nuclear forces. The Kudankulam power station, construction of which was already tardy with the Russian delays, was further stuck by opposition from lobbyists receiving support from several foreign sources.

The French that won the bid for the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra, did evince lot of interest, but encountered problems relating to liability. There is disappointment over such a support not coming  from Japan during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. The sea-saw battle received some boost when the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised supply of uranium. There is further hope on China extending such support after President Xi Jinping’s visit.  

Technology is a two-sided weapon. There is need for a firm commitment for using its positive side. Nuclear energy is of great value to India in expanding its capacity for power generation. The country’s record in operating power plants over the past five decades and more has been satisfactory. India did not have any serious mishap or problem in operating its nuclear power stations in this period. The commitment to safety is paramount. Ensuring this can take care of adding large capacity.

I remember my interaction with a director of  the French nuclear company Framatome in Paris. I met him in 1982. He said: “France lacks fossil resources like coal and oil. Close to 80 per cent of power needs of the country are met by nuclear power. Our safety record has been exemplary.” In the 32 years since he made this statement one hasn’t witnessed any slip in this record.

 

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