Nuclear power for Pakistan... By Atifa
03 January, 2014
There has been a flurry of articles and renewed interest in media about utilising nuclear energy for electricity generation since PM's inauguration of nuclear power project in Karachi. The article by Mr Rizwan Asghar, published on December 29, 2013, in your newspaper, shows concern that the proposed nuclear power plant design ACP1000 is a paper design. Also, according to him, Pakistani scientists and engineers are not capable of handling the construction and operation of these plants.
In reality, as far as we know, Pakistan has an immaculate nuclear safety record and the organisation responsible for running the country's nuclear power programme that is Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has a good track record of operating nuclear power plants two of which have been built by China. About the 'paper design', one can easily see on the internet that around 29 plants are under construction in China and 19 are in operation. Does this experience not count to be more than enough? The ACP 1000 only has some additional safety features. It is nothing new.
The electricity produced using oil can cost more than Rs 20 per unit and its production from solar energy is not cheap either. Using nuclear energy with no CO2 emission, security of reliable supply irrespective of seasonal change at a competitive price, makes nuclear a viable option. So we should come out of the nuclear fear and let the government build nuclear power plants to overcome electricity crisis affecting the country's economy.