Karachi nuclear plants to end energy crisis

KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam leader Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed on Thursday said that proposed new nuclear plants in Karachi will be completed in five to six years and help in ending the energy crisis from Pakistan.

Addressing a seminar titled ‘Nuclear Power Plants in Karachi: Benefits, Safety and Security’ at a local hotel on Thursday, Syed said that generation of electricity from nuclear plants was cheaper than any other alternative.

He said thermal process was costly, coal process cause of increasing environmental problems while the gas reservoirs are decreasing day by day; so in this scenario the nuclear plants are a better way to produce electricity. “We also need more dams to fulfil our energy needs but unfortunately we are not able to build them due to reservation from different sectors of the society on their construction.”

He said that smear campaigns against nuclear program was not a new thing in the history of Pakistan. He recalled that the same campaigns were also initiated during the construction of Chashma Power Plant and nuclear tests by Pakistan in 1998.

Syed said that democracy calls for debate and dissent but when a decision was taken then it was the responsibility of all stakeholders to carry it onwards. “In Pakistan national issues are buried due to pressure of some powers but now it is the time to decide our future bravely and not to put this important issue of nuclear power generation aside.” He said that these plants were in the favour of the nation and the reservations on them should be resolved through discussions.

He said that Afghanistan and Nato had not prepared themselves for 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan and due to this Pakistan was facing its affects. “United States had neither started dialogue with Taliban nor has made a strategy for withdrawal from Afghanistan. If the US continues to keep its forces in Afghanistan after 2014 then it will create not only problems for Pakistan but also for the entire region.”

He said that the sitting government lacks ability to take decisions, adding it should step forward and initiate projects that were in favour of Pakistani nation.

He said that Senate committee comprised of representation from all political parties and it would for the first time hold its meetings in Karachi and Balochistan to discuss defence strategy.

Speaking on the occasion Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Dr Ansar Pervez said that the government was providing no subsidy or grant to Karachi Atomic Nuclear Plant (KANUPP) and the plant provides electricity to Karachi Electric (KE), formerly known as Karachi Electric Supply Corporation and the revenues generated from the KE are then spent on KANUPP.

“Pakistan is the not the only country that is building these nuclear plants but Brazil, India, Russia and other countries are also building them,” he said.

Ansar Pervez said that they were in discussions with China to build these plants and the reason to involve China was they had build already 21 nuclear plants and they were building two plants each year.

He said that there were six protective layers at Pakistani nuclear plants while many other plants in the world that had only one protective layer.

Dr Shaukat Hameed said that PAEC had an efficient technical staff which was able to handle nuclear plants effectively without any risks. He said that Pakistan was mulling over to import electricity from India or initiate a gas pipeline project from Iran but these projects were less useful as compared to nuclear plants as we do not have to be dependent for this project on others and we could easily fulfil our energy requirements from these projects.

Javed Jabbar said that we should not connect nuclear bombs with nuclear plants and the awareness should be made among public regarding useful use of nuclear plants for energy sector.

Zafar Nawaz Jaspal said that there were 439 operational nuclear plants in the world out of them 123 were in Asia while three of them are in Pakistan. He said that 67 nuclear plants are under construction across the world out of them 47 in Asia.

He said that concerns regarding nuclear plants were not true as despite presence of more than 400 plants in the world there were three mishaps regarding nuclear plants in the history.

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