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Issue Date: Jul 15, 2011
Issues over tea

Science and Technology - Briefs

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2011
HEALTH Herbs against superbugs Cancer treatments often have the side effect of impairing the patient’s immune system. This can result in lifethreatening secondary infections from bacteria and fungi, especially since bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus are becoming multi-drug resistant. A team of Indian researchers have found that asparagus, desert date and fenugreek contain antibiotics that can fight infections in such patients. They tested extracts from the plants on microbes taken from oral cancer patients. The researchers hope the herbal remedies may help develop new treatments for Methi cillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, May 20

Lessons from Japan: Diversify energy options

Issue Date: May 5, 2011
Q. Is it time to stop building nuclear power plants and shift to thermal or other forms of energy? Let’s be realistic. The world has limited sources from which electricity can be generated. Japan's fault was that it stored spent fuel. Electricity produced from thermal, natural gas and oil has its own cost. Coal is too polluting, natural gas contributes to global warming and fossil fuel is limited. Doing away with nuclear energy is not possible. We need to generate electricity from diverse sources but policy and technology needs to be upgraded.

If disaster strikes

Author(s): Ruhi Kandhari
Issue Date: Apr 15, 2011
INDIA is constructing six nuclear power plants—two each at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, Kakrapar in Gujarat, and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan. Together, they will generate 4,800 MWe of power, states the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s website. This is a big leap towards enhancing the country’s nuclear stature. But is the country equipped to face a nuclear radiation disaster?

Nuclear secrecy is a matter of concern

Posted on: 16 Mar, 2011
The nuclear crisis in Japan has highlighted the perils of restricting the flow of information. Starting from the International Atomic Energy Association to the senior officials in charge of managing the crisis in Japan, there is a growing frustration over the way the country's nuclear power company has shared information on the state of affairs in the tsunami-stricken reactors. This has apparently contributed negatively to crisis management.

A tsunami of questions

Posted on: 16 Mar, 2011
Are Indian nuclear power plants at risk? In the light of what is happening in Japan, is India prepared to deal with high-risk nuclear technologies as it embarks on a new phase of nuclear energy expansion? These are issues that have been debated on prime news channels over the past few nights. These are important issues, I believe, and relevant questions. The fact is that Japan is an amazingly technologically sophisticated country, which had built its plants for all exigencies and calamities. But even Japan is finding it difficult to contain the disaster that is still building up and is of potentially huge proportions.

Japan nuclear crisis: implications for India

Issue Date: Mar 16, 2011

Nuclear radiations: how harmful

Issue Date: Apr 8, 2011
Recent nuclear reactor disaster that occurred at Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan has provoked planners, leaders, environmentalists and intellectuals of various countries to rethink about the nuclear energy option.

Japan's nuclear crisis, a warning for India

Issue Date: Mar 14, 2011
In April, we will be observing the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Though every year the anniversary reminds us of the perils of nuclear power, this year it sent an advance message through a ferocious messenger-the tsunami of Japan.

How vulnerable are India's nuclear power plants to disaster

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2011
Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes. In France, for instance, nuclear plants are designed to withstand an earthquake twice as strong as that experienced in the past 1,000 years. In India, the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Tarapur Atomic Power Station and Narora Atomic Power Station operated safely when earthquakes of lower intensity were felt. The plants, however, could not withstand tsunami. The campus of Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant was flooded when tsunami hit Tamil Nadu's coast in 2004.
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