The Power of Promise
Examining Nuclear Energy in India
Nuclear power has been held out as possibly the most important source of energy for India. And the dream of a nuclear-powered India has been supported by huge financial budgets and high-level political commitment for over six decades. Nuclear power has also been presented as safe, environmentally benign and cheap. Physicist and writer M.V. Ramana offers a detailed narrative of the evolution of India’s nuclear energy programme, examining different aspects of it and the claims of success made on its behalf. In The Power of Promise he makes a historically nuanced and compelling argument as to why the nuclear energy programme has failed in the past and why its future is dubious. Ramana shows that nuclear power has been more expensive than conventional forms of electricity generation, that the ever-present risk of catastrophic accidents is heightened by observed organizational inadequacies at nuclear facilities, and that existing nuclear fuel cycle facilities have been correlated with impacts on public health and the environment. He offers detailed information and analysis that should serve to deepen the debate on whether India should indeed embark on a massive nuclear programme.