China & India to drive the world’s nuclear power production growth – experts

08-11-18 11:19:00,

Nuclear power production will grow by about 46 percent by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) which highlighted that more than 90 percent of the net increase will come from China and India.

The two developing nations are now among the top consumers of energy in the world, as they pursue their national nuclear energy programs.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018 showed that global nuclear electricity output grew one percent last year, as the world’s nuclear fleet generated 2,503 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity.

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Kudankulam nuclear power project in India © Adnan Abidi

Asia saw 8 to 9 percent growth in nuclear capacity last year, according to Agneta Rising, the director general of the World Nuclear Association.

She told CNBC: “The largest growth in nuclear energy is in the Asia region, especially in China and India.” Nuclear power is “absolutely compatible” and “necessary” for a low carbon future, Rising added.

READ MORE: World’s first floating nuclear power plant reaches Russia’s Arctic for maiden mission

The nuclear industry’s research found that China added three new reactors to its fleet in 2017, bringing its total number of operating reactors to 41 — behind only the United States and France. The country has also reached its highest nuclear production, with the total output up by a whopping 18 percent, or 35 TWh.

Beijing aims to increase nuclear capacities to a total of 58 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 compared with its current nuclear capacity of 34.5 GW.

Another top energy consumer, India, has the seventh-largest nuclear production fleet in the world, comprising of 22 nuclear reactors. India’s total net electrical capacity of 6,255 MW lags behind China’s 42,800 MW, but that could change soon as its largely indigenous nuclear program starts to open up.

A joint project with French electricity company Electricite de France (EDF) to build six European Pressurized Reactors is expected to result in the “largest nuclear plant in the world.” The plant will have a total capacity of 9.6 GW, according to Marianne Laigneau, group senior executive vice president at EDF.

Globally, nuclear energy capacity is forecast to increase as many countries continue to ramp up efforts to decarbonize.

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India’s Farmers Plan Mass March to the Nation’s Parliament as Agrarian Crisis Reaches “Civilization Proportions” | Asia-Pacific Research

31-10-18 02:27:00,

With over 800 million people, rural India is arguably the most interesting and complex place on the planet. And yet it is also one of the most neglected in terms of both investment and media coverage. Veteran journalist and founder of the People’s Archive of Rural India P. Sainath argues that the majority of Indians do not count to the nation’s media, which renders up to 75 percent of the population ‘extinct’.

According to the Centre for Media Studies in Delhi, the five-year average of agriculture reporting in an Indian national daily newspaper equals 0.61 percent of news coverage, while village-level stories account for 0.17 percent. For much of the media, whether print or TV, celebrity, IT, movements on the stock exchange and the daily concerns of elite and urban middle class dwellers are what count.

Unlike the corporate media, the digital journalism platform the People’s Archive of Rural India has not only documented the complexity and beauty of rural India but also its hardships and the all too often heartbreaking personal stories that describe the impacts of government policies which have devastated lives, livelihoods and communities.

Rural India is plagued by farmer suicides, child malnourishment, growing unemployment, increased informalisation, indebtedness and an overall collapse of agriculture. Those involved in farming and related activities are being driven to migrate to cities to become cycle rickshaw drivers, domestic servants, daily wage labourers and suchlike.

Hundreds of thousands of farmers in India have taken their lives since 1997 and many more are experiencing economic distress or have left farming as a result of debt, a shift to (GM) cash crops and economic liberalisation. According to this report,  the number of cultivators in India declined from 166 million to 146 million between 2004 and 2011. Some 6,700 left farming each day. Between 2015 and 2022 the number of cultivators is likely to decrease to around 127 million.

The core problems affecting agriculture centre upon the running down of the sector for decades, the impact of deregulated markets and profiteering corporations (Monsanto and its Bt cotton seeds being just one case in point), increasing debt and lack of proper credit facilities, the withdrawal of government support,

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The BJP and the Rise of Fascism in India. The Suspicious Death of Judge Loya – Global Research

23-09-18 07:19:00,

The Fascist State organizes the nation, but it leaves the individual adequate elbow room. It has curtailed useless or harmful liberties while preserving those which are essential. In such matters the individual cannot be the judge, but the State only. The Fascist” 

– Benito Mussolini [1]

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With a population of over 1.2 billion people, the Republic of India is considered the world’s most populous democracy. Yet, civil liberties and the power of the masses to direct their affairs in their own interest are being undermined if developments in recent years are any indication.

Beyond the increasing incidence of lynchings and mob violence targeting minorities, and the severe crack-downs on dissent, there is significant doubts being raised about the sanctity of the rule of law. A story surfacing in the fall of 2017 has cast suspicion on the ability of the courts to rule independently of political influence.

On December 1, 2014, a judge with the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation was reported to have died of natural causes. Judge Brijgopal Loya had been presiding over one of the nation’s most high profile cases, that of a murder implicating the president of the governing BJP party.

Two investigative reports published in November of 2017, brought to the fore doubts expressed by Loya’s family about the account of his death. These doubts were corroborated by documents accessed by the author highlighting irregularities in the overall depiction of events around Loya’s death. The family also detailed attempts at bribery and intimidation of the judge in the weeks leading up to his untimely death at the age of 48.

To date, the response of officialdom has been to try to discredit the report and downplay the revelations therein.

India is a significant power. One of the world’s largest economies and a member of the powerful BRICS alliance of nations with strategic links with both the U.S. and Russia. What does a significant deterioration of the India’s democratic rights mean within a larger geopolitical context.

These are the questions we will be exploring in a special recently broadcast live to air edition of the Global Research News Hour.

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India’s Water Resources: Save Activist Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, Save River Ganga | Asia-Pacific Research

17-08-18 07:36:00,

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Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand is an important figure in the field of environmental engineers in India. Formerly known as Professor G.D. Agarwal, he has been a faculty member in the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Member-Secretary Central Pollution Control Board.

At the age of 79, the engineer took diksha and became a sanayasi. He has played an important role in stalling 3 hydroelectric projects to ensure uninterrupted flow of Bhagirathi, which becomes Ganga after meeting Alaknanda, for the initial 175 kms.

The swamy now, 86, has undertaken another unto death at Haridwar since 22 June, 2018, demanding a law for conservation of river Ganga.

Close to Rs. 500 crores was spent as part of the previous Ganga Action Plan and now Rs. 7,000 cr. out of Rs. 20,000 cr., proposed budget for Namami Gange project under the current government, has been spent but most of industrial waste and sewage continues to flow untreated in Ganga similar to other rivers like Sabarmati in the country because, firstly, the installed capacity of Sewage Treatment Plants and Common Effluent Treatment Plants is woefully short of the total waste generated and, secondly, whatever capacity has been built remains non-functional for various reasons, including corruption.

The scientist turned swamy is unhappy with the state of affairs at the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA). He is sure that the Clean Ganga-2020 mission will also fail as the previous mission Ganga Action Plan launched in 1986. In both these projects crores of rupees have been invested.

It is shocking that this government which projects itself as champion of Hindutva and changed the name of Water Resources Ministry to include Ganga Rejuvenation in its name is completely silent on Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand’s fast and the media is colluding in this conspicuous conspiracy.

Several activists, intellectuals, film makers, theater artists, former colleagues and students of the swamy and academicians have all demanded the government to take corrective steps to save the rivers and other water bodies and enter into dialogue with the Swamy thereby stopping his fast and saving his life.   Some of the prominent names are that of Medha Patkar, Swami Agnivesh, Mallika Sarabhai, Ram Puniyani, 

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As in India, US Farmers Caught in Crushing Agribusiness Debt Trap Turn to Suicide in Spiking Numbers | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-06-18 07:44:00,

Over a decade ago, a disturbing trend among farmers in India captured headlines, as suicides among Indian farmers began to spiral out of control. Many of those farmers were indebted to giant agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, which – after gaining access to India’s seed sector in 1998 – enticed poor farmers to buy new “bioengineered” seeds every planting season along with the associated agro-chemicals required to grow them, promising bigger yields that would offset the costs.

When such benefits failed to materialize, many farmers – confronted with an ever-growing debt snowball – were faced with losing their land, leading many to take their lives by drinking the very same agro-chemicals that had helped trap them in debt. Though it has faded from the headlines, the crisis has continued unabated, with over 12,000 farmers in India still committing suicide every year.

While the crisis in India may seem a distant problem to many Americans, new reports have indicated that the U.S. is developing a farmer-suicide epidemic of its own.

A new report in CBS News notes that farmers in America now die at a rate higher than that of any other occupation and five times higher than that of the general population, even as the national suicide rate as a whole has jumped over the last few decades. As CBS notes, the increase in suicides mirrors a similar phenomenon in the 1980s, when U.S. farmers faced economic hardship related to debt, and suicides spiked.

Jennifer Fahy, communications director with Farm Aid, told CBS at the time that

“the farm crisis was so bad, there was a terrible outbreak of suicide and depression.”

Fahy now warns that the current situation is “actually worse.”

The newly reported increase in U.S. farmer suicides — much like the crisis for India’s farmers – is related to debt, specifically to global seed and agribusiness corporations that continue to raise prices as farmers’ incomes fall. Farm income has been dropping steadily since 2013, with the average this year set to be 35 percent less than it was five years ago. Meanwhile, farmers have seen a 300 percent price increase in recent years on products like seeds,

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