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March 1, 2015

Nuclear power plants pose no threat to environment: experts

Business

March 1, 2015

KARACHI: China-backed planned 2,200-megawatt nuclear power plants would help improve electricity supplies to energy-starved industrial sectors, experts said on Saturday, brushing aside projects threats on environment and marine life.
They, addressing a Karachi nuclear power plants conference, said the prospective nuclear power plants (K-2 and K-3) with 1,100MW each will save the government Rs11 billion/year it spends on different heads.
They added that the plants will help address several economic issues and improve industrial outputs and get rid of prolonged power crisis besides directly and indirectly creating 10,000 jobs.
The conference was organised by Pakistan Observer and think tank ‘101 Friends of China’.
“Nuclear power plants produce no gas or smoke. They are rather environment-friendly,” said Dr Ansar Parvez, chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. He added that the plants have a capacity to sustain an earthquake with a reading of nine on the Richter scale.
Dr Parvez highlighted the security measures being taken to avert any threat, including potential terrorist activities at the planned project.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s parliamentarian Dr Farooq Sattar raised concerns over the location of the new plants and asked the authorities to relocate the projects’ site.
Pakistan People’s Party senator Taj Haider said his party is in favour of such projects, and wants to see them functional as soon as possible.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari initiated the project with Chinese authorities, Haider said.
Hameed Haroon, chief executive officer of Dawn Group, stressed upon the need to remove communication gap between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission with media houses and other institutions. The gap is building wrong perception about the nuclear power plants and Chinese designed reactors, he said.
“There is no safety issue with Chinese designed reactors, but with our governance,” he

added.
Ex-caretaker minister Nisar Memon suggested authorities to launch a public awareness campaign to highlight the benefits of nuclear energy. “Parliamentarians should raise the issue to remove misperception about the plants,” Memon said.
Former governor Moinuddin Haider, ex-chief justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, Dr Atta-ur-Rehman and others also spoke on the occasion.

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