Presentation: “Atoms and Power Post-Rio and -Fukushima: Reflections on the Meaning of Nuclear Energy and Its Implications for India and Beyond“
In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, India has witnessed remarkable public negotiation over the future of atomic energy. While the Government of India remains adamant in its advocacy, communities approached to host new reactors have strongly opposed such plans. Projects at various locations have either been forced to relocate or are being stalled, due to local organization and opposition.
For its part, the Government of India remains convinced on the merits of this energy source and a drastic expansion of the country’s nuclear power infrastructure. Among the justifications it has offered, the Government promotes nuclear energy as a source of “significant benefits in terms of energy security and environmental benefits”.
In the context of squaring social and ecological values with those of the development project, this presentation by Manu Verghese Mathai, UNU-IAS Research Fellow, considers what the association between atoms and power (understood as the rate of energy transformation as well as the political influence over another entity’s behaviour) means for the Indian Government’s justifications. The presentation questions the idea of “green” nuclear energy and concludes with thoughts on energy and technology policy and on international relations, when sustainability and equity are cherished and non-negotiable goals.
For more information, or to register to attend, see the event page on the UNU-IAS website.