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March 12, 2015

‘Embrace nuclear energy; it’s safe’


March 12, 2015

The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp) has been working for the last 55 years without any single accident, and nuclear power plants pose no threat to human life and or the environment in Karachi.
This observation was made by Dr Azhar Mashitullah, the head of an environmental research group, PINSTECH, while speaking at a seminar organised at a hotel by a group called Rabita Forum International.
In case of any earthquake or a tsunami, he said, nuclear power plants would pose no threat, first because Karachi had no history of tsunamis in the known history of mankind and secondly a nuclear power plant being the latest technology had the capability to shut down manually or itself.
“Karachi needs electricity very badly. It will progress very speedily if its energy requirements can be fulfilled. These power plants do not harm even sea life.”
Mashitullah said that for setting up nuclear power plants, all safety measures had been taken and approved by national and international nuclear agencies.
He suggested nuclear power plants as a “green option”. Talking about misconceptions attached to the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, he described the plant as an environment-friendly approach to producing clean energy.
“The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant emits an insignificant amount of radiations and it is well- managed to avoid any threat to our environment.”
Nusrat Mirza, chairman of the Rabita Forum International, said Pakistan’s progress was always hampered by one way or the other.
Pakistan’s potential in human and natural resources was so much that it could make the country rich, he added.
He said nuclear power plants provided cheaper and sustainable energy, observing that coal, gas and oil would last for two to three decades.
“The sole purpose of the ceremony was to spread awareness to make our environment clean. I am impressed that the students of Karachi are ready to fight against pollution.”
Naeem Mughal,

director general of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), said 12,000 tones of wastage had been collected and dumped in a place near Karachi every day, “where one cannot stand for a few minutes due to bad smell”.
That waste was a wealth universally if treated and utilised, he said.
“We have been striving to make our environment clean. Society has to cooperate in eliminating environmental pollution,” Mughal said.
“Our people cannot avoid using polythene bags despite knowing about their hazardous effects on environment. Polythene bags take 400 years to degrade, causing a great danger to the marine ecosystem as well.”
He said his department was doing its best to find a remedy for the problems, but wherever it identified them, it faced a shortage of funds.
Dr Tahir Masood, chairman of the Department of Mass Communication, Karachi University, expressed his concern over political and psychological impacts of environmental pollution.
“Noise pollution is pushing the city into a state of depression. We are not getting the quality of life we deserve,” he lamented.
The Rabita Forum International presented mementos to the speakers and certificates to the students of the Karachi Universality’s Environmental Institute and the Mass Communication Department.
Earlier, a lawyer, Zafar Imam, presented the welcome address.
At the seminar, Sindh Environment Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro was conspicuous by his absence, who had been invited to attend the event as the chief guest.
Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra, adviser to the chief minister, expressed his distress over excessive pollution in the city.
“I have been an MNA from Korangi and Ibrahim Hyderi. You cannot imagine how polluted they are. I wonder how people are living a miserable life in such polluted areas,” he said.
Shujra stressed the need to make the seminar productive and fruitful in order to reduce environmental pollution. “We talk much and do nothing. In my life, I have been listening to ideas which cannot have any practical implementation.”

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