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tv   World Business  PBS  May 1, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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this week on world business... >>why india is contemplating a push for nuclear power at a time when the rest of the world is worried. >>it is not as unsafe as its critics claim. it is not 100 per cent risk free, no form of energy ever is. >>this year australia was hit by a cyclone and some of the worst floods in its history and the country is still counting the cost... >>the damage has been done and we believe that queensland will fall up short by about 30 billion tons of coal production, that's about 5 billion dollars that goes missing this financial year. >>and as tourists start to return to egypt we look at the role desalination plays in supporting the industry. >>we rely totally
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on desalination, more than 95% of our water is provided from the desalination. >>hello and welcome. i'm raya abirached and this is world business, your weekly insight into the global business trends shaping our lives. as the nuclear crisis in japan continues, it is taking its toll; not only on the local residents, but on nuclear programmes around the world. india is a prime example, with ambitious plans to increase nuclear power from 3 to 40% of energy supply by 2050. but this may now be derailed by farmers resisting land acquisition, and concerns over the safety of nuclear technology.
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>>reporter: protests against a proposed nuclear plant on india's western coast have turned violent, with one activist killed in police firing. >>jaitapur, where the 10,000 megawatt plant is to be built, has seen long-running anger against landacquisition intensify following the nuclear crisis in japan. >>parwar: we do not want this project here. the children of this village will be affected. the authorities cansay anything today, but it is always the common man who suffers later. >>reporter: this resistance has hardened since the japanese earthquake and tsunami that crippled the fukushima plant, forcing a rethink on nuclear safety around the world and calls in india for a halt to atomic expansion. >>bhushan: one aspect of the learning from fukushima is
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the engineering design point of view - what failures happened; and that you need not only have just one substitute systems but maybe you need to have multiple power systems, for example, to run your cooling systems - that's what fukushima teaches us. fukushima also teaches us that there cannot be a hundred percent safe nuclear power plant. i think you can keep designing it, you can have all the systems in place, but you cannot foresee the kind of natural disaster that can strike a nuclear power plant. >>reporter: the town of madban (maadbun) seems very far from fukushima, yet it is here that french nuclear company areva plans to build the world's largest nuclear facility at a cost of 24 billion dollars. localfarmers claim they were not consulted and their land is being acquired at a mere 11,0 dolrs peracre but officials say they are willing to increase the compensation, something the villagers now refuse to accept. >>waghde: this land is the land of our forefathers; we have the authority to manage it
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but not to sell it. we cannot set up this kind of village anywhere else, with this quality of land around it. so even if the government is ready to offer us huge compensation and relocate us elsewhere, we don't want to leave our village. >>reporter ramdas waghdare meanwhile, still tries to cultivate his field that lies inside the project site. he sneaks in when he can, because his family is dependent on the crop. >>wagdhare: the police tell me my land now belongs to the government and i can't grow my crops there. they stop me from entering my field. >>reporter: this is just one of the many battles across india between villagers and industrial projects. the government has approved several new sites to build reactors, taking the country's nuclear sites from 7 to 13. but most of these sites face protests over land acquisition. and now, with the crisis in japan, the government is on the defensive.
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>>nath: yes of course it creates a sense of a panic amongst people and nobody wants a nuclear plant in theirvicinity. that's it but we're not looking at nuclear plants at the course which could be hit by a tsunami. so safety concerns will have to now be relooked at so that people are more reassured and even the government is more cautious. >>rerter: there are also fundamental questions being raised about the simple economics of nuclear power. >>bhushan: one of the caution that people in india is asking today is, "is nuclear power cheap as it has been made out to be? what is it from the public money that will go in supporting nuclear power?" so we need to know what it will cost us, just in economic sense. second, what will be the environmental cost of nuclear power?...you know, after all it is a very water-intensive process - even if we are takingseawater it will have a huge impact on marine ecology because we will be discharging hot water. then there is issue of safety, radiation, waste disposal.
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>>reporter: yet there are those who believe recent events have led to the dangers of nuclear power are being blown out of proportion. >>tinsdale: it is not as unsafe as its critics claim. it is not 100 per cent risk free, no form of energy ever is. but nuclear power is safer than the main alternative in india which is coal power stations because coal stations emit larger amounts of carbon dioxide, the main green house gas which is extremelyunsafe not only for india but for rest of the world. >>reporter: india has little choice but to add a lot more nuclear power. it suffers from a peak-hour power deficit of about 12 percent that acts as a brake on the growing economy and causes blackouts in much of the country. 500 million of its people still lack electricity. >>tinsdale: we have to look at not only at what electricity is currently used for but at all
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energy so oil and heating as well. much of that could and should be running on electricity in the future so that we don't have to burn oil. and to do that we need to get more low carbon energy including nuclear. so i think that nuclear will have a rising proportion of energy in asia and in the rest of the world until we can be 100 per cent renewable. >>reporter: but for global nuclear suppliers, india's recent nuclear liability law remains a sticking point. thelegislation limits the liability of a nuclear reactor operator following a nuclear accident to 325 million dollars, and allows lawsuits against the suppliers of the technology. following the crisis in japan, there are now calls in india to increase this liability even further to provide for decontamination and compensation. this could put even more pressure on foreign suppliers. >>bhushan the government will have to reduce its ambition on nuclear power. you know,
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the government today is saying that it will set up 30,000 megawatts, obviously that is not going to happen because of heightened public concern about nuclear power plants. that's point number one. secondly the government will have to put everything in the public domain if it wants to have nuclear power plant, and there must be concerted debate on each and every project, and it must take the consent of people before it can set up projects. it cannot push nuclear power plant in people's backyard anymore. >>reporter: even if the villagers in madban manage to derail the jaitapur plant, india is unlikely to back down from its broader nuclear ambitions, given surging power demand and a lack of alternatives. this willcome as welcome news to a global nuclear industry reeling from the fallout of the crisis in japan >>natural disasters this year alone have had a devastating effect on countries in the asia pacific region not least for the loss of human life but also the economic impact. australia was hit
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by a double blow - the worst flooding in queensland in 37 years and then a cyclone - bigger than hurricane katrina. but australians are nothing if not resilient. >>reporter: the lucky country's good fortune ran out in january when the sunshine state was inundated with torrential rain and floods...and then cyclone yarsi whipped up the misery even further. however looking at queensland's capital today, it's hard to imagine that just over three months ago brisbane was battling raging floodwaters that swept through the suburbs and business district. >>scott: the rosalie area of brisbane was one of the worst hit by the floods. all of this was underwater. yetmany of the businesses are now back, up and running but they couldn't have done it without the helpof an army of volunteers. yet they say the trade is still very slow. >>cowie: devastating. it completely just...it completely ruins you...for - it's been two
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months for us to reopen with bills that are ..bills that still come in and then... then to refit the place again...bills that are hitting tens, almost a hundred thousand dollars...so, it's a lot of money and that's not just lying around. so very hard on you personally and business-wise. >>reporter: some, though, had a flood plan : >>lewis: so we put that into place and then we built levy banks all around the front of our store here ..in the front to that side right around to the other tenancy and those banks were very effective. we didthe right thing. we put the black plastic up two metres..siliconed the plastic to the footpath and to the walls of the building and then retained the plastic by using sandbags. >>reporter: for many the disaster was compounded by being under insured or for many not being insured at all >>gronn: i lost my job last year after 13 years and so that went by the wayside. so, yeah, no insurance..butthere was
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an appeal called the premier's disaster relief fund and i was entitled to a$2000 from that and a$1000 from the federal government...which has brought me a fair bit of paint. >>reporter: but 21 percent of queensland's income is resources and mining...contributing nearly 53 billion us dollars to queensland's gross state product...with coal making up two thirds of that. resources one of the reason's australia's economy is so robust with china and japan its biggest customers...but many open pit mines have been flooded. >>roche: the damage has been done and we believe that queensland will fall up short by about 30 million tons of coal production, that's about 5 billion dollars that goes missing this financial year. we've been tracking the status of exports and the latest figures we've seen show that we're 30 percent
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below the same time of last year...so for the year as ahole, we'rhopi we can hold it to a loss of about 15 percent >>reporter: the good news is that all the ports have been opened and that the rail infrastructure is back on track but there is still a problem with what to do with water pumped from the mines >>roche: three out of every four coal mines in queensland, that's nearly 60 of them, have special approvals to discharge water...that's helping. but for many mines it'll be a case of building small dams, investing in other infrastructure, perhaps even investinin treatment plants to clean the water up to a status that will allow them to safely discharge it into the environment...so that's the challenge >>reporter: another big earner for queensland is tourism, employing 10 percent of its workforce - 3 times more than mining. the industry took a hard hit from
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the floods but it is the perception that the whole state was under water that did the most harm. >>gschwind: when the message went out, early in the piece, that the size of germany is flood affected as was often quoted in the overseas media, we have to remember that queensland is five times the size of germany, five times the size of the uk, 50 times the size of taiwan.. but the damage that was done to ourindustry in particular, far exceeded the infrastructure damage...it was the perception that was created both inter-state in australia and also overseas, importantly, that queensland's the entire state was flood-affected..was disaster-affected, and was probably not a good place to visit...and that is what really made our industry suffer the most. >>reporter: in all it looks like it will take more than 8 billion us dollars to repair the damage to the whole state: some of that raised by a special one-off levy from all australian taxpayers. whatever the final repair bill, economic growth will be affected:
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>>fraser: well, prior to the floods, we were looking at an economy that would grow around 3 and three quarter percent this financial year and then back towards a trend growth of 4 and a half percent next financial year. the result of the loss of production from the floods and, indeed the cyclone, in far northqueensland, has us tracking to record growth of around 1 percent this year...... >>reporter: queenslanders, though are an optimistic breed; >>gronn: i think it has been a positive thing. i've cleared out a lot of stuff that i didn't want..half the stuff i didn't know i had...it has really made me rise to the occasion to get the house fixed up. >>gschwind: we will certainly see an enormous outburst of wild flowers of wild life that we haven't seen for years because we have been in drought for so long...so there are some advantages. there's a silver lining always ..and we will certainly encourage people to go and see the natural wonders that are provided through even those catastrophes we had. >>fraser: amongst all the losses there's actually something that was regained and that was people remembered the true varieties
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of the human spirit...the raw humanness of joining together...of helping your neighbour and helping those beside you...and i think people rediscovered a lot about themselves and their own communities. >>still to come on world business... >>pools filled with pure water in one of the world's most water stressed countries. >>and rough and tough but riding high - roller derby is a sport on the move. >>on a roll.... and the rest in just a moment on world business... >>the political unrest in egypt at the start of the year saw tourists fleeing the country in their thousands and revenue for 2011 is predicted to be down by 25%. visitors have
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started to return, albeit in smaller numbers, to the relief of an industry which accounts for 11 percent of the egyptian economy. yet this presents a problem in itself. egypt exists in a state of water poverty and to fill the pools that attract the tourists the country is turning to desalination. >>reporter: this is what the egyptian resort town of el gouna should look like - a barren desert bordering the red sea... but this is what it has become - a place where the sand is merely something to try and avoid on a hotel's golf course. >>the transformation has come about because of one thing: desalination. the resort's general manageris adham mahmoud. >>mahmoud: we rely totally on desalination, more than 95% of our water is provided from the desalination. i don't see anywhere. even for the future expansion we rely 100% on desalination. >>reporter: professor abou rayan is one
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of the country's leading experts on the process. >>abou rayan: by law this is the only way to supply water for tourists. by law. you cann say okay, i have a hotel and i need water from the municipality or from water company. you are supposed to have your own water resources. >>reporter: the desalinated water at el gouna's steigenberger hotel is relatively cheap to produce. el gouna's desalination plant provides it with up to 120 cubic metres a day for a total daily cost of around $240. in larger plants, the price can be as low as 50 cents per cubic metre - a cheaper option than building new pipelines to transport water from the nile - even if that were allowed. dr el quosy is oneof the country's leading experts on water management. >>el quosy : our research actually indicated that if you transport nile water for a distance of more than 100km then desalination is
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more feasible economically. >>reporter: at the moment around 90% of egypt's desalinated water is produced by a process called reverse osmosis, or ro, which involves, in essence, pushing salt water at high pressure through a series of membranes to remove the salinity. >>el gouna, which runs and operates its own plant, is also experimenting with the more complicated and expensive, process of thermal desalination - using the excess heat produced by one of the city's generators. at the moment it can only produce 120 cubic metres a day, much less than the 10,500 cubic metres the city uses. the problem according to mohamed hosny, another of egypt's desalination experts, is in the technology. >>hosny: because of the simplicity of the process, it is much more simple to build reverse osmosis than a thermal desalination plant. thermal desalination plants are only
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economic if they are coupled with an electrical power generation system. >>reporter: hosny's company, egysal, has been in the desalination business now for 15 years. >>hosny: in 96 we started with a plant that was 300 cubic metres today we are running up more than 10,000 cubic metres a day in 9 locations. >>reporter: one egysal's main areas of business is just down the road from el gouna in the city of hurghada. thecity has grown rapidly with the arrival of mass tourism and is now home to approximately two hundred thousand people, many of whom are dependent on the income generated by the one million tourists who visit each year. again desalination has been vital to its development - even allowing the guests at the 952 room sindbad club to splash about in a desalinated water park. >>shendidy: when i arrived 20 years ago there weren't that many hotels and the population wasn't that much... wehad a problem with water... the hotels had to contract tanker cars to supply water, we had to have contracts with more than one source...
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it was a problem but it's history, it's gone, we don't feel the pain now. it was like going through a sick period that you recovered from. >>reporter: egysal also provides 1,500 cubic metres of desalinated water to the nearby sunrise garden beach hotel. here, in collaboration with helwan university they are also experimenting with solar powered thermal desalination. provides at the momen depending on the weather, roughly 3 cubic metres a day.it's not much but mohammed hosny believes it's just the start. >>hosny: it will come the day that we'll need it. maybe ten years time it will be the only possible way to desalinate water. >>reporter: it's a view shared by other experts given the advances in photovoltaic technology and the fact that egypt is running out of its own supplies of oil and natural gas. >>abou rayan in 5 years or less than five years, now everything is going quickly, we will have commercial, competitive, renewable energy units. >>reporter :
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desalination allows hurghada and el gouna to keep on growing. this year el gouna will install a new 1000 cubic metre plant while the sindbad club has plans to double in size in the next two years. without desalination the region would soon return to scrubland. with desalination, and as long as the tourists keep on coming, its future prospects appear almost limitless. >>roller derby is skating with attitude - two teams of girls battling it out on roller skates, belting round a track at top speed, blocking - and blasting - their opponents out of the way. it's female, full-contact - and one of the fastest growing sports in the uk. >>reporter: they may look like extras from the rocky horror show - but the northern fights - as the girls in thegrey team are called - mean business. >>aberdeen's competition team
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is taking on neighbouring edinburgh's canon belles in a roller derby league match. twelve girls on the track - but more than double that number of officials just to keep order. >>oxide: there are seven referees and then there's 14 people on top of that officiate in other ways so keep track of the scores and the penalties. >>reporter: roller derby has its roots in the 1920's and 30's in the united states when they were run as paid endurance races during the depression. but since the start of the new millennium the sport has been re-born - predominantly female ... fun but full of aggression. >>muriel: roller derby is overwhelmingly a female sport -with more than 600 women's leagues in over 20 countries. it arrived here in uk from the united states in 2006 - and in just five years more than 70 leagues have rolled out nationwide. no wonder it claims to be the uk's fastest growing sport. >>reporter: but for many in this 250-strong audience following the action can be tough. >>spectator:
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i think it's very exciting - but it's a bit complicated and difficult to follow. you need to get the, you know, rules in your head before you go >>reporter: so for the uninitiated roller derby goes like this: >>there are four blockers on each team led by their 'pivot' at the front - wearing a striped cap cover - or panty as it's known. >>at the first whistle the blockers move off. >>at the second whistle the last team member, the jammer - wearing a star on her helmet - attempts to speed skate through the pack of blockers - helped by her own team - blocked by the opposition. >>both jammers skate round and through the blockers again gaining a point for every member of the opposite team they pass. >>check: we all really like each other - we're all friends, lots of us live with each other, we go out and hang out with each other when it's not derby related, but t moment you're playing and they're on theopposite team you want to knock them down. >>reporter: so who can play roller derby? >>thud: you have got doctors, students, mothers, grandmothers, you've got
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across the scale. we've got a grandmother, slaying our team. she's recently a grandmother. so you've got all ages, all sizes, women from from 19 to 40s ... it takes all levels of skaters. it does not matter what size you are as long as you're over 18, you're up for a good laugh. >>reporter: it also takes some cash. >>red bird: the cheapest pair of roller skates you can buy are probably around about a hundred pounds and then for your helmet, all your padding, and your mouth guard you're looking at another hundred pounds on top of that. and once you get into it you realise that you need different wheels and you get different wheels for the way you skate so again they can be up to anything, the cheapest ones are around about 40 pounds for your eight wheels up to like one hundred, one hundred plus so it's an expensive sport. >>reporter: granite city roller girls pay team subs of around 50 dollars a month and their t-shirts are sponsored by a local nightclub. ticket sales for this event will bring in less than 3-thousand dollars. the rest is down to them.
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>>red bird: we need a lot of hands but we also need a lot of money. it costs approximately - for everything - about a thousand pounds per game. >>reporter: yet despite that the sport is quite literally on a roll.... >>oxide: if you went back two years or so there'd be london and a couple of fringe teams kicking about the uk- now there's pretty much a team in every major city you can think of. you could throw a dart pretty much at the map of the uk now and you'd find a team. >>reporter: and the sports international appeal is also set to get a big boost at the first ever roller derby world cup in toronto at the end of 2011. collie check is scouting for talent for team scotland..... >>check: because scotland's such a small nation we can get together quite easily for all these different try outs and for lots of practices so team scotland will in actuality be a team, we'll be strong, we'll know each other we'll know how to play with each other which is something that teams from the us, canada, australia, possibly england won't have that sort of advantage
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>>reporter: roller derby has come a long way in just a few years - recognised in 2011 by the british roller sports federation as an official roller discipline. now this camped-up, kitsch and downright crazy eight-wheeled roller sport looks set to go from strength to strength. >>that's it for this week's world business. thanks for watching. we'll see you again at the same time next week.
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