NUCLEAR POWER & THE INDIAN MEDIA

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(Image courtesy: google images, edited by Izaz Ansari)

Well, whenever one uses the term ‘nuclear’ or ‘nuke’, you certainly would have some curious ears and eyes listening & gazing to that particular individual. Such sensitive is the issue of nuclear activity. Indians and the Indian media, whether it be the 123 agreement between India–U.S or the establishment of Kundankulum nuclear plant with the support of Russian scientists, has mostly been anti in their thinking and projection of the nuclear power. 

We shall now get into the details of the above statement and start analyzing, why is it such? So, as Indians we believe because the media tells us to? Is that so? And it also depends on whom we follow (Two step flow theory; for details refer my previous blogs). Okay, now I am saying all this because I myself visited TAPS (Tarapur Atomic Power Station) and some of my myths were busted. 

Now, the media’s projection of the nuclear power in India has been largely anti. Maybe because the media professionals are not so well versed with the technical functioning of the nuclear plant. The basic functioning is very simple – the Uranium is used to generate heat, the heat is used to boil the water, which releases the steam and the steam is used to rotate the turbines which is connected to the generator that finally produces electricity. See, I said it’s very simple! The main understanding gap of the media personal may be the structure of the plant building. Trust me, it is well planned and constructed, it is safe. Visit NPCIL’s official website and you will get a good in depth detail. 

I found some media reports, which were deviating from the truth. A fire in some industry near a plant was reported as – Tarapur station on fire. This is one aspect. On the other side, the media has always reported about the insecurity of the nuclear plants. Debates have been conducted by many news channels on nuclear safety programs in India but it hardly comes to any conclusion rather than the end product being too noisy and going in many directions. 

The nuclear power is the future fuel, there is no denying. Coal is about to deplete in 35-40 years and by the consumption rate of electricity going too high, it’s not at all possible to depend on solar energy (too costly) and wind energy (too much geographical area required) only. There’s hydel electricity, which can be used, but it too cannot wholly fulfill the complete requirements. This is the part the media has seldom touched. Why is that? Again Knowledge gap theory. The media gives us what we want and not what we need. 

The impact of earlier disastrous events like Nagasaki-Hiroshima, Chernobyl & Fukushima has made us think of nuclear energy as not safe. Thus, when the media tells us reports on anything related to nuclear we tend to think in an anti manner. Here come two more new theories; magic bullet theory & hypodermic needle theory, according to these theories, the information is injected or shot into our head with an immediate effect of it. So the media is capable of doing that. Setting agendas and telling us what is right and wrong. 

Like all my other blogs, this blog is a little different. Nuclear energy is still being developed in new forms and we keep getting updates about it now and then in media. Well hope this blog may have educated you and help you think about nuclear power in a different way.

Well, like always, do post your comments and queries if you have any? Be open and remember communicating does resolves confusion. Do share your opines!

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5 thoughts on “NUCLEAR POWER & THE INDIAN MEDIA

  1. good post Izaz.
    one point that I would like to mention is, the media alone isn’t responsible for the misconceptions that are spoken about the Nuclear power plant. Had media managers from the plant provided sufficient information, the myths must have reduced to some extent. The media tends to behave and report the way it does because that is what it sees. 🙂

  2. Media is definitely all about hype, but I also think NPCIL has not done enough to eradicate the misconceptions deep rooted in the minds of the people.

    1. Yes, i agree. Sandhya too mentioned the same point. Lets hope their new activity with their media cell will boost knowledge of nuclear power in our minds. 🙂

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