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For Cleaner and Greener World! India and Japan Sign Landmark Civil Nuclear Agreement

The agreement will strengthen the energy security of India by developing more nuclear power projects in India

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Picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Wikimedia Commons

November 11, 2016: “A landmark deal for a cleaner, greener world! PM Narendra Modi and PM Shinzō Abe witness exchange of the landmark Civil Nuclear Agreement,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

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The new agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

This would provide for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus for strengthening energy security of the country, according to the External Affairs Ministry.

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The present agreement would open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in India’s Civil nuclear program. (IANS)

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Women of America Are Stepping Up As Nuclear Energy Advocates

Nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources

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Nuclear Energy
Engineering manager Kristin Zaitz and her co-worker Heather Matteson, a reactor operator, started Mothers for Nuclear. VOA
  • The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years
  • Nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources
  • Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear

San Francisco, August 26, 2017: Kristin Zaitz is confident that her nuclear power plant is safe.

Zaitz, an engineering manager, was at Diablo Canyon Power Plant during both her pregnancies and has scuba dived to inspect the plant, which hugs the California coast. Zaitz wears a pendant with a tiny bit of uranium inside, an item that tends to invite questions.

“We all have our perceptions of nuclear,” Zaitz said.

In a few years, Diablo Canyon will close, part of a trend nationwide. The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years. Add to that ongoing concerns about public safety, such as those raised by memories of disasters at nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) and Three Mile Island in the United States.

Nuclear is ‘cleaner’ than fossil fuels

Supporters of nuclear energy say that when a reactor-based generating station closes, not enough wind and solar power is available to make up the difference. They lament that energy companies tend to turn instead to fossil fuels — coal and natural gas — which produce environmentally harmful emissions.

Zaitz and her co-worker Heather Matteson, a reactor operator, started Mothers for Nuclear, their effort to get the word out that nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources.

“I went into the plant very skeptical of nuclear and being scared of it,” said Matteson. “It took me six to seven years to really feel like this is something good for the environment. I don’t want people to take six to seven years to make that decision. We don’t have that long.”

Matteson, too, wears the uranium necklace as a conversation starter. “Nuclear is fun,” she said. Is there any radiation emitted by the pendant? “There’s slightly more than from a banana,” she conceded.

Also Read: Indian nuclear industry growing fast, says former Atomic Energy Commission chief

Women seen as powerful advocates

Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear. They can help change attitudes of other women who tend to be more skeptical than men about nuclear energy’s benefits.

At the recent U.S. Women in Nuclear conference in San Francisco, women working in the industry talked about how more should be done to make nuclear power’s case to the public, and how they may be the best suited to do it.

“As mothers, I think we also have an important role to play in letting the public know that we support nuclear for the future, for our children,” said Matteson. “And we don’t know other mothers supporting nuclear power in a vocal way. We thought there was a gap to fill.”

Young women say they look at careers in this industry because they are socially minded.

‘Do something good for the world’

“I went into this wanting to do something good for the world,” Lenka Kollar, business strategy director at NuScale, a firm in Oregon that designs and markets small modular reactors. “Wanting to bring power to people. There are still more than a billion people in the world who don’t have electricity.”

Critics of nuclear energy say it doesn’t matter who is promoting it.

“Using mothers’ voices to argue for a technology that is fundamentally dangerous and that has been demonstrated by disasters like Fukushima to be not safe for the communities that surround the power plants or even cities that are hundreds of miles away is disingenuous,” said Kendra Klein, a staff scientist with Friends of the Earth, an environmental group.

While the future of nuclear power in the United States may be uncertain, the women here say they have a positive story to tell. (VOA)

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Exclusive: Photo Exhibition Documents Japan’s Sacred places and Pilgrimages in New Delhi

India & Japan Celebrate 50 Years of Cultural Relationship With The Exhibition

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A woman looking at the photographs at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi
  • It showcases natural and cultural heritages in Japan which were added to world heritage list of the UNESCO 
  • The photo display of heritage sites are from Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Shimane, and Tokyo
  • The photographs are of the spiritual sites such as temples and shrines of Japan

June 26, 2017:

Little Adya is very much interested in learning about art and culture of Japan and wants to know a whole lot about it. So she forced her parents to take her to visit the Photo Exhibition which is being held at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi. Upon entering the photo gallery, Not just her, but her parents too were happy to give in to the wishes of the little one and find it informative and insightful.

The ongoing exhibition at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi includes the photographic collection of a famous Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Miyoshi and showcases natural and cultural heritages in Japan which were added to world heritage list of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

The photo display of heritage sites is from Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Shimane, and Tokyo. The photographs are of the spiritual sites such as temples of Japan such as the Horyo-ji Temple in Nara which was built in 607 AD by Shotoku Taishi (Politician from the Asuka period), Saiho-ji Temple in Kyoto which was built by Emperor Shomu and Gyoki (a Buddhist of Nara period) and Ryoan-Ji Temple in Kyoto which was built in 1450 by Katsumoto Hosokawa and Shrines such as Kauga-taisha shrine in Nara which was built in 768 and Ujigami-jinja Shrine in Kyoto.

ALSO READ: Japan’s men-only Ancient Religious Site Okinoshima (Fukuoka) up for World Heritage status

The program coordinator at Japan Foundation, Ms Shalini Bisht said to NewsGram, “We have already hosted an exhibition on world heritage sites two years ago and this time we have taken only the sacred places and pilgrimages which are temples and shrines of Japan which are famous and categorized by UNESCO.”

Photo Exhibition at Japan Foundation in New Delhi

“This year is special for the celebration of 50 years of cultural relationship between India and Japan and there is a correlation between the culture of Japan and India. There are a lot of common elements in the way the Japanese and the Indian people worship and there are lot of deities from India but they have a different way of worshipping them in Japan and to bring that correlation of religion and worship, we thought we would bring this world heritage site exhibition in Japan foundation focusing on sacred places” said Ms Shalini.

She also added, “through this exhibition, I understood a lot about the ways of worship, how and when the shrines were built. I got to learn more about the comparative aspect of Indian religion and Japanese religion.”

– reported by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393