June 30, 2007

Nuclear dreams

In an interesting development Bangladesh's caretaker government has acknowledged that it wants to build a nuclear power plant to tackle its electricity shortages. There is already an offer from South Korea to finance 60% of the project and The International Atomic Energy Commission, the global nuclear watchdog has approved it (report).

Blogger Shahzaman Mazumder says no to the move because it will be dangerous for Bangladesh for two main reasons:

1. Problems in disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.
2. Bangladesh is the most densely populated place in the world and thus any nuclear disaster will claim scores of lives.

There is also a political aspect. Bangladesh is constantly being labeled by many quarters as a fundamentalist country (which in fact not). International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed El Baradei had claimed Bangladesh (among 30 other countries) could have the technology to develop nuclear bomb "in a very short time". This was particularly insane from an international organization like IAEA because Bangladesh has only one 20 year old research reactor and a neutron generator for research purposes and a 42 year old Graff accelerator (more). It is yet to have any Nuclear power plant. So we can imagine what the IAEA will think if Bangladesh ever manages a Nuclear power plant.

I think the government should think logically about all outcomes of the decision before implementing such initiatives.


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