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Monday October 25, 2021

‘Pakistan needs more nuclear reactors’

August 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) has underscored the need for constructing more nuclear reactors in the country to help meet rising energy demands as they curb greenhouse gas emissions and climate change through low-carbon electricity generation.

The CISS, a think tank that deals with strategic and nuclear issues, hosted a webinar on “Fifty Years of Nuclear Power in Pakistan” that highlighted the significant role of peaceful uses of nuclear technology in socio-economic development, pursuance of sustainable development goals (SDGs) by addressing energy needs of Pakistan. The webinar was held in connection with the decommissioning of Pakistan’s first nuclear power plant, KANUPP.

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Muhammad Naeem said nuclear power is safe to operate and the inauguration of K-2 is a milestone in Pakistan’s quest to increase the share of clean nuclear energy in national and global mix. He said: “This year we have completed 65 years of our journey in the field of applications of nuclear technology for the socio-economic development of Pakistan. This journey started in 1955 with medical centres, agriculture centres and research and development. He reminded that the current is an important year because “we are also celebrating 50 years of our nuclear power programme”. It is also 50th anniversary of KANUPP and the inauguration of K-2 in May this year. "We were the 15th nation of the world that had this opportunity to have a nuclear power plant when we started our journey. At that time even Korea and China were not in the field when we started operating KANUPP in Karachi," he recalled.

Following India’s first nuclear test in 1974, an embargo was unfairly placed on Pakistan, along with India, even though Pakistan did not commit any violations. As a result, restrictions on supply of parts, and even technical assistance for KANUPP was imposed and Pakistani scientists and engineers overcame this difficulty in a very able manner. KANUPP was kept functional and continued providing power supply to the national grid.

The chairman emphasized that this was PAEC's biggest achievement. He said another plant of 1100 MW output will become functional in the next 8-10 months. Both K-2 and K-3 power plants will provide 2200 MWs of uninterrupted and clean electricity to the national grid for the next 80 years.

CISS Executive Director Ambassador Naqvi emphasized the increasing role of peaceful use of nuclear power capabilities in pursuit of socio-economic development. Regarding Pakistan-China cooperation in helping Pakistan set up the power plants, Naqvi highlighted the 1986 bilateral cooperation agreement which has enabled it to achieve this remarkable degree of energy production through nuclear power.