LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
OF YOUR CHOICE. PUBLISH IT HERE AS WELL. FREE.
What is Publishaletter
Write a letter
Read Letters to the Editor sent to Indian Express -
Letter to Modi - Loot of Strategic
Brig (Retd) G B Reddy
Read Letters by Categories
Arts & Culture
Business & Economy
Careers & Jobs
Politics & News
Society & Lifestyle
Terrorism & War
Rate this letter:
Rating : 2/5
5 = Excelent
Posted in Publishaletter.com By :
Brig (Retd) G B Reddy
Letter to the Editor Sent to :
Letter to Modi - Loot of Strategic
Dear Editor: Open Letter to Modi Ji - Loot of Highly Expensive Strategic Material – Mother of all Scams The “Mother of all scams” is the illegal sand mining on the Southern and Eastern coasts and river banks that contain strategic materials like monazite and rare earths etc. Shekar Reddy, sand mining baron, and his linkages to the former Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Ram Mohan Rao, exposes the havoc that is being perpetrated to India’s future security and growth prospects. How many more skeletons will tumble out of the cupboards is any ones guess? The sand mining mafia is on the rampage. The “Neta-Babu” nexus is not even concerned about the rapid depletion of scarce strategic material so vital for sustainable energy security. The “Mafia” as per activists is gouging out tons of sand from beaches and riverbeds particularly in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu alone, the losses —beach minerals, river sand, bauxite, magnesite, granite, and so on— is estimated at Rs.1.43 lakh crores. Environmentalists put the annual loss to the government from beach sand mining at Rs.20,000 crores to Rs.30,000 crores and from illegal river sand mining. Time is now to conduct a comprehensive court monitored inquiry into all aspects concerning beach and river bank sand mining since it adversely impacts national security interests. Let me highlight that 2/3rd’s of world’s monazite resources – an atomic material found in the beach sands - estimated about 12 millions tons, are found on the South and East coasts of India as per the World Nuclear Association. With China dominating 97% on rare earths exports imposing restrictions, prices have increased exponentially. Perforce, the USA, Japan, France, and others are interested in the development of Indian rare earth deposits. Even at meager 2%, India is the second largest exporter of seven rare earths found on the beaches of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — monazite, garnet, ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, sillimanite, and zirconium. These ores, when processed, yield thorium, niobium, tantalum, titanium, and other elements important for a wide variety of industries such as nuclear, electronics, energy, plastics, paints, construction, and shipping, paper. As per Department of Atomic Energy estimates, 500 GWe could be generated to last for at least four centuries using just the economically extractable thorium reserves through implementation of third-stage breeder reactor commissioning prescribed by Homi Bhabha. Let me highlight that if Indian economy is to grow at 8–9% for the next 25-years, total power generation capacity has to increase at 6–7% per annum from the past 5.9% per annum growth. Exercising third-stage breeder option earliest is an imperative. The Integrated Energy Policy of India estimates the share of nuclear power in the total primary energy mix to be between 4% to 6.4% in various scenarios by the year 2031-32. A study by the DAE, estimates that the nuclear energy share will be about 8.6% by the year 2032 and 16.6% by the year 2052 – over 275 GWe. According to NPCIL, the uranium reserves are only sufficient to generate about 10 GWe for about 40 years in the current first and second stage nuclear reactors. At least 50 GW would be needed through the first and second stages before deployment of the third stage reactors based on thorium. With imported uranium, India could reach 70 GW by 2032 and 275 GW by 2052. Furthermore, import of uranium at very high cost would be required after attaining 21 GW from nuclear power by 2020. Thorium itself is not a fissile material, and thus cannot undergo fission to produce energy. The first two stages, natural uranium-fueled heavy water reactors and plutonium-fueled fast breeder reactors, are intended to generate sufficient fissile material from limited uranium resources, so that all its vast thorium reserves can be fully utilised in the third stage of thermal breeder reactors. India is home to 30% known global thorium reserves found in the monazite sands of coastal regions of South India: over 500,000 tons in the readily extractable form. Thorium is particularly attractive for nuclear power generation. As per official estimates in August 2011, the country can obtain 846,477 tonnes of thorium from 963,000 tonnes of ThO2, which in turn can be obtained from 10.7 million tonnes of monazite. "Out of nearly 100 deposits of the heavy minerals, at present only 17 deposits containing about 4 million tonnes of monazite have been identified as exploitable. Therefore, about 225,000 tonnes of thorium metal is available for nuclear power program." Monazite has been put on the Prescribed Substances List, i.e. it can only be mined by the Union government and not by any private party. Yet, the Tamil Nadu government has approved licences for its mining by a private party. The much delayed first Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam is likely to reach first criticality by March 2017. The plan to undertake four FBRs (2500 MW) from five reactors as part of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) remains delayed. Most importantly, large scale thorium deployment is only to be expected "3 – 4 decades after the commercial operation of the first fast breeder reactor in 2017 with short doubling time". Therefore, full exploitation of domestic thorium reserves will likely not occur until after 2050. VV Mineral with 16 licenses is a major player. Why only a single player? Who are others? Left to the underworld, monazite and rare earth natural resources would be exhausted by 2050. Viewed in the foregoing activities in the sand mining particularly beach and river bank sand mining, one can safely highlight need for a comprehensive and in depth inquiry into the murky happenings that is adversely damaging future national energy security interests so vital for sustainable development.
Read letters with Related Tags :
Politics and News
Comments on this letter
No Comments written so far.
on the letter? Write in box below.
Inappropriate letter? Indicate why the letter should be removed.
Enter here letters
in the box
below (Capital Letters) :
What is this ?
I agree to the terms of service
Read Letters by Country
Browse letters by recent Topics
PublishaLetter allows you to send Letters to the Editors of thousands of Newspapers and Magazines across the world. In case the letter is not printed, we also publish it right here, for everyone to read and comment on. Free. Click below.
Write A Letter
How it works
Terms of services
Publishaletter.com is a forum and content herein does not reflect the views or opinions of Publishaletter.com LLC.
Copyright © 2015 Publishaletter.com.
Site Developed and maintained by
(A division of