Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday made a startling revelation that a tsunami has not been factored in while granting clearance to the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur.

“I don’t recall if tsunami was factored into the environment clearance process (of Jaitapur nuclear plant). But the safety issue has been left to the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) and Nuclear Energy Council,” Ramesh said.

It is easy go to overboard in the wake of Japan’s nuclear threat and say that all nuclear energy is bad. As a developing nation, we need nuclear energy. But regardless of our stance, we can all agree that clearing a nuclear plant along the coast without factoring in the effects of a tsunami is sloppy at best and extremely dangerous at worst.

*****

If you want to invest in nuclear energy, look into companies investing in nuclear plants in India. The clearance procedures are trivial, the government bends over backwards to allocate land by taking away private property and in the possible event of a disaster, damages to be paid are capped. It’s a win-win situation — unless you are one of those poor people who happen to be victims. Even then, you — actually you’ll be dead, your family — will get Rs. 1 lakh from the government under Some Gandhi yojna. Win-win.

As an investor, you can go further in the event of a nuclear accident. Team up with some well-known socialite and start an NGO that claims to provide disaster relief. Publicity will ensure cash flow in; you can ensure no cash flow out. I’m told it is the hottest business in town — except for being a religious guru.

Advertisements