Book Review: Nandakumar Janardhanan, Girijesh Pant and Ravi B. Grover (Eds), Resurgence of Nuclear Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia

Published date01 April 2018
Date01 April 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
200 Book Reviews
Nandakumar Janardhanan, Girijesh Pant and Ravi B. Grover (Eds),
Resurgence of Nuclear Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia
(Singapore: Springer, 2017), 214 pp., €119.99 (Hardback).
DOI: 10.1177/0020881718792110
The geopolitical concerns surrounding energy security have undergone a major
transformation with the inclusion of the sustainability narrative. Fossil fuels con-
tinue to pump the world energy architecture but at the same time, they happen to
be the biggest source of carbon emissions. In this regard, the entry of nuclear
energy becomes all the more imperative to understand and study not only for
security experts but also for energy connoisseurs. Add to this, the quantum leap
achieved by the Asian giants, such as China and India, in the nuclear energy sector
as compared to the West has also become another vital hotbed for discussion. If
we combine East Asia and South Asia, one observes that there are about 128 oper-
ating nuclear reactors with 40 under construction and a further 90 in the pipeline.
While there appears to be a firm determination to go nuclear, there are a number
of arguments, challenges and obstacles that this industry encounters, negative
public attitude, being one of them. The concerns surrounding nuclear waste dis-
posal, safety and security of power reactors, radiation risk, nuclear liability issues,
cost of construction, etc., have plagued the industry, especially post the terrible
Japanese experience. Attempting to counter and answer the layman’s understand-
ing of nuclear energy is exactly what this book attempts to do. The book explores
the problems and prospects offered by this renewed vigour of nuclear power in the
Asian scenario. The book consists of 10 chapters which have been streamlined
into five sections spanning across different aspects of the nuclear energy sector.
Spanning across a variety of spectrums, the book brings together nuclear energy
and security experts from different parts of academia, policy researchers and
The book makes five major points, each being elaborated in the five sections
divided in 10 chapters. The first section sets the tone by reiterating the title of the
book. It tries to build a narrative whereby human needs are connected with the
economic aspect of energy resources and in turn helping to estimate the signifi-
cance of nuclear energy from the perspective of environment sustainability and
affordability. The author, Ravi Grover, aptly highlights how ‘the nuclear industry
must continuously engage public and address their concerns in a language that is
easy to understand’ (p. 19). The concept of ‘changing geopolitics of energy security’
in the nuclear energy sector has been undertaken by Girijesh Pant where he
rightly points out that the future energy mix has to be cartographed (both at
global and local level) together and not in isolation. A combination of renewables
and nuclear is a collective initiative that needs to be taken to reposition nuclear
in the mainstream agenda of energy security. Pant precisely remarks that nuclear
should not be considered as an addendum to the existing energy mix but should
be provided with a larger role in the wider sustainability discourse. He then goes
on to describe the Asian Pivot of nuclear power whereby China and India are
emerging as the leading nuclear entities as compared to the USA. Vinod Kumar,

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT