At Goa, BRICS leaders fight for nuclear power & against destabilization – II
by Ramtanu Maitra on 03 Nov 2016 1 Comment
The BRICS Provides Optimism


It is in this complex environment that the BRICS has begun to grow. While the overhanging threat of war is making this world an increasingly dangerous place, still, the BRICS member nations have put together a program to infuse optimism among those whose hopes and dreams have been shattered by these brutal policies, which have used the broken-down Bretton Woods System and indiscriminate military actions to achieve their end. The BRICS leaders have determined that a world dominated by economically weak trans-Atlantic powers, which are ready to go to any extent to undermine others’ efforts to grow, requires security. In order to ensure security, particularly in Eurasia, the BRICS has joined hands with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an organization formed in 2001 by China, Russia, and five “stan” nations of Central Asia. Recently, two major South Asian nations, India and Pakistan, have been inducted as full members in the SCO. The stated mission of the SCO is to ensure security in Eurasia through cultural and social interactions.


Beyond accessing the reach that the SCO provides, the BRICS member-nations have included various partners, including non-BRICS countries and their associations, to extend their reach to smaller regional nations. The initial outreach effort took place in 2013 at the Durban summit in South Africa, with the invitation to leaders from African states, to the African Union, and to sub-regional associations of African nations. In 2014, Fortaleza, Brazil, was the venue for a dialogue between the leaders of the BRICS and twelve South and Central American countries. At the BRICS’ Ufa Summit in Russia in 2015, all the leaders of the SCO, both members and observers, as well as the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia), plus Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, were present to meet with the five BRICS leaders.


In 2016 in Panjim, Goa, the host nation, India, had invited the member-nations of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal besides India, to interact with the BRICS leaders. BIMSTEC, as its name suggests, is an economic grouping, and it encompasses not only South Asian nations but also two Southeast Asian countries.


At the Fortaleza Summit in 2014, a ground breaking event in the short history of the BRICS, member nations set about to loosen the deadly stranglehold that the IMF/World Bank has imposed on the developing countries. It is not an easy task, but the BRICS took up the challenge. At Fortaleza, the participating heads of state created the New Development Bank (NDB, also known as the BRICS Bank) to finance the weak physical infrastructure of most of Asia, Africa and South America. The task is challenging, since various reports indicate that in Asia alone an investment to the tune of $9 trillion is necessary to ensure future economic development. A recently released Citi GPS report, entitled “Infrastructure for Growth: The Dawn of a New Multi-Trillion Dollar Asset Class,” estimates a global need for infrastructure spending of $59 trillion over the next 15 years.


BRICS Bank and CRA


The NDB’s initial authorized capital is $100 billion, divided into one million shares having a par value of $100,000 each. The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is $50 billion, divided into paid-in shares (of $10 billion), and the initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding members.


At Fortaleza, the BRICS leaders also created a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) for the provision of support through liquidity and precautionary instruments, in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures - i.e. currency warfare as by George Soros in 1997-98 for example. Initially, it was decided that CRA will have total committed resources of $100 billion. In his address to the BRICS Finance Ministers in Washington on Oct. 7, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the BRICS’ CRA is now operational to deal with any short-term balance of payments pressures the grouping’s member nations may face.


Although the NDB is still in a fledgling state, the good news is that months before the Goa Summit - that is less than two years after it was created at Fortaleza - the Bank had already approved its first loans of $811 million for “renewable energy” projects in Brazil, China, India and South Africa, Russian news agencies reported last April. In addition, the NDB President told Reuters on the fringes of the 2016 BRICS Summit that the Bank is ready to lend $ 2-2.5 billion in 2017.


Compare this with the IBRD’s (World Bank’s) lending history in the 1940s. After it was established in 1944, the IBRD’s first loans were extended during the late 1940s to finance the reconstruction of the war-ravaged economies of Western Europe. While the IBRD kept its development funding within Western Europe, the NDB’s loans have already included three Continents.


BRICS for Nuclear Power


In addition to its objective of developing a growth-oriented bank, the NDB - which saves countries from the “IMF conditionalities” which force them to abandon all essential capital-intensive development projects - the BRICS member-nations have also emphasized the necessity to enhance capital-intensive nuclear energy for clean and safe power generation.


Over the recent decades, the trans-Atlantic nations, which were the pioneers of nuclear power generation, have been guided by anti-development leaders, and have allowed themselves to be confused to the point of being controlled by the Greenies. As a result, they have abandoned the building of nuclear power reactors, and have opted to rely increasingly on high-priced, inefficient and intermittent so-called “renewable” power sources. This has now reached the point that even if at some future time these nations were once again to seek nuclear power for their basic survival, they will have to import nuclear reactors! By contrast, the BRICS nations have begun to move confidently towards embracing nuclear power, with its low running cost and high efficiency, for their future economic development.


The need for nuclear power was also reflected in the Goa Declaration, which included the following paragraph: “We recognize that nuclear energy will play a significant role for some of the BRICS countries in meeting their 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments, and for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. In this regard, we underline the importance of predictability in accessing technology and finance for expansion of civil nuclear energy capacity which would contribute to the sustainable development of BRICS countries.”


For BRICS member-nations, commitment to nuclear energy for power generation is not just rhetoric. China is committed now more than ever to make nuclear power its main source of electrical power in the years to come. According to World Nuclear News (“Nuclear Power in the World Today: August 2016”), the Chinese government plans to increase nuclear generating capacity to 58 GWe, with 30 GWe more under construction by 2021.


“China has completed construction and commenced operation of over 30 new nuclear power reactors since 2002, and some 20 new reactors are under construction. These include the world’s first four Westinghouse AP1000 units, and a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant. Many more are planned, with construction due to start within about three years. China is commencing export marketing of a largely indigenous reactor design. R&D on nuclear reactor technology in China is second to none.”


India is another country now moving steadfastly to utilize its indigenous and imported reactors to make nuclear energy an important element of its electrical power sector. According to the Modi Government’s projection, India, now with 6 GWe installed nuclear power capacity, is planning to move quickly to install 63 GWe by 2030. Its short-term target is to put 14.5 Gwe of nuclear capacities on line by 2020.


“These reactors include light- and heavy-water reactors as well as fast reactors. In addition to the 22 online, of both indigenous and foreign design, five power reactors are under construction, including a 500 MWe prototype fast breeder reactor. This will take India’s ambitious thorium program to stage two, and set the scene for eventual utilization of the country’s abundant thorium to fuel reactors,” World Nuclear News reported.


India is now in the process of finalizing about 30 GWe of imported reactors to be installed. These reactors will be provided by Russia, Westinghouse, GE, and Areva (of France), if and when negotiations come to successful completion. Moreover, India is actively seeking both Japan’s and China’s cooperation in this sector.


Another major nation within the BRICS, Russia, is steadily increasing its nuclear capacity and, according to World Nuclear News, plans to have an installed capacity of 30.5 GWe. In addition, Russia, having long been at the forefront of advanced nuclear technology, is now the world leader in reactor exports, building and financing nuclear power plants around the globe. Russia’s nuclear-power diplomacy has become very important.


Countries that have signed on to Rosatom nuclear agreements span all regions of the world, and include strategically significant nations such as Argentina, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Jordan and Turkey, among others. As of 2014, 29 Russian reactors are planned for construction abroad, and Rosatom predicts that the number will grow to around 80 within a few years.


In essence, at the eighth BRICS Summit at Goa, the BRICS leaders rallied to ensure that the dying London-centered empire of Obama, is replaced by a world governed by equality and mutual respect for the interests of large and small states in both West and East, mutual economic gains, cultural compatibility and reciprocal enrichment of civilizations.



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