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Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW When small is no larger beautiful.. Poor quality of university VCs Polls and promises Small units prefers to remain small... Build close rapport with business leaders Boy, can you beat these? Alexa – Talking Wikipedia The Jan Dhan bonanza Rahman at CIC TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... How Air-India loses customs... The star of Spencers is no more Parliament in paralysis... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Mersal magnified L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Gas is the way forward Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The rise and rise of KCP S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Waning interest in public discussions… Editor's Says Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Computation of GDP – conundrums continue He saved millions from starvation... Put expensive assets created to use... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan IPL - no surprise this scam Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Russi Mody – a tribute Which side are you, Montek? Cutting the nose to spite the face Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Road development slows down Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? CII projects higher growth… Tatas moving out of urea production... Protest masters... He continues the focus on social amelioration Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist A think tank for Chennai Banning booze... Muffled voices for merit… A proud Madrasi No engine for this car Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Strengthen the base... IPL type auction for VCs? Tribute – M V Murugappan Auto components surge… Preserving for the future An inexplicable neglect New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… IAS invades NDDB... Quality education through the PPP mode Sweet news for TN sugar mills Pharma – overdose of copying Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform The rise and fall of Annamalai University Align crops to agro climate endowments… TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Return to king coal for urea... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Secularism and anti-Hinduism Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy The sea- saw battle continues... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Haul over the coal Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science PC’s preference for professionals China invests in India L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Wise Presidents The power-full Hindujas Paytm karo... B H Kothari - a tribute TELANGANA at last…BUT Make standards certification mandatory... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Revive development banks... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu When online building permits work…. Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Fortune for Indian Airlines Where is Rajaji? Building loyalty through the stomach Marketing expert Balagopal is no more …and of a popular trade leader Welcome GST Maximising the micro pricing … More tributes to GR Sweeter prospects for sugar Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Discoms deserve better… Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Delhi Chalo... Valli, they are more marginalised GNS - 100: our first subscriber Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Robber barons everywhere Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Kinetic Karnataka The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Shipping woes of Chennai companies Modi and the lady Kulandai was a giant EVM is tamper-proof Mu Sigma – is no more All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya The balancing act Making ‘my Amaravati’... Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Cement prices continue to rise… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Another Indian music maestro at the UN 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 Why this malaise in medical education? Airlines in India: cost and space Roaring Ro-Ro facility Silver Years of Madras Musings Welcome focus on core competence Tatas moving out of urea production... TIAM turns a full cycle The why of tax incentives Vibrant Gujarat A yen for wastage… Readers' Mail Tough task taking states together Convulsions in The Hindu Tribute A friendly business group Adharma of opposition politics Where a state respects its litterateurs… Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Multi-faceted Venkat Fuel for thought Noble nonagenarians... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai West Bengal: mindless malignancy No Maha Koottani in TN... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals For whom the MIDS bell tolls? EEC at the National Media Centre Gay abandon in pricing MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Delhi is distant… Plummeting profits of PSBs Sri Lanka votes for change Shanti and Sadhana through Music Engineering seats go abegging No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu More heat than light Towards speedy justice Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Demise of a media baron... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Modi storms Silicon Valley Medical costs hit the roof... Tax agriculture Permanent secretariat for TN GIM GM Technology at last! A rich pool of talent not utilised…. TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Things happen by accident and not by design... Contrarian cousins A welcome initiative by the judiciary Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Editor's Notes Streamlining mandatory third party cover When Ratan Tata visited SRM Moily’s bold thrust Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Delhi is distant The nuclear option Shale gas and its shallow future Wanted: a second airport for Chennai SoA @ 80 Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara A more liberated TN… Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... The Gulf aviation boom Come elections, come advertisements... Revving up the manufacturing sector Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Quality silica from Neyveli For whom the bell tolls? CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. The few handicaps... Intellectual of rare qualities Funding the un-funded When nations steal growth from one another… Delhi returns to BJP Solar thermal shines… TGS- The king storyteller Kudos to NDTV... Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Five star activism stalls development activity This scant respect for Law ONGC at KG Basin Fortune 500 review Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel A professional at the helm of IRDA... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Why land prices zoom in TN? F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing London, London Narayan A glass full of corruption A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… When the President was rendered homeless… Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Telangana in top gear… Breaththrough in malaria control The brown list of Venkitaramanan Solar, solar everywhere … Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Music happens Recognition to role of NBFCs.... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Nuclear power at the nucleus Should we change the official year? The Swadeshi Trump
 
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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