Special Correspondent

KANNUR: India’s nuclear energy deal with the United States is against the interests of the country, according to social activist and energy expert R.V.G. Menon.

Delivering a talk on ‘Is the nuclear deal essential to India’s energy security?’ organised by the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) here on Wednesday, Dr. Menon said the deal and the Hyde Act put a cap on India’s sovereignty as far as its nuclear weapons programme was concerned. Whether India should conduct future nuclear tests or not should be decided by the country and not by others, he said.

Quoting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s projection that dependency on nuclear plants for power generation would decline over the years, he said U.S. nuclear reactor companies needed new markets as that nation’s domestic dependency on nuclear power would go down. Even after signing the deal, the country’s nuclear plants could generate only 6 per cent of the country’s power requirement by 2032.

According to the projection in the Integrated Energy Policy document prepared by the Planning Commission, the country would need seven lakh MW of electricity by 2032. India would be generating only 40,000 MW from nuclear plants by then, he said adding nuclear energy was not going to be an answer to the energy shortage being faced by the county.

Dr. Menon said the deal would equip the U.S. to keep India away from independent initiatives of the latter to tap fossil fuel resources in countries such as Iran.

Observing that the Hyde Act could not be treated as a domestic legislation of the U.S., Dr. Menon said the U.S. could always invoke the Hyde Act to withdraw from the deal.