Pakistan is to join international efforts aimed at overcoming Japan’s nuclear crisis, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Islamabad took the decision to assist Japan after a formal request by Tokyo and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier this week, an official said.
He added that Islamabad will soon send teams of nuclear experts to join the international efforts to control the nuclear disaster that has alarmed the entire world in terms of global nuclear safety.
The decision to extend assistance to Japan to control the increasing damage and radiation effects spreading currently from four, and potentially six nuclear reactors, comes after closely monitoring the crisis, an official said.
He said that although Japan has reported that radioactivity at its crippled reactors has reached sixth level, experts in Islamabad suspect that it has already touched the seventh of a total of nine alert levels.
The Pakistani experts will work with IAEA’s emergency response network center and will provide equipment and manpower to help monitor radiation levels. The experts will also help analyse possible solutions in reducing the radiation levels in the activity zones.
Pakistan’s assistance would be critical in this regard and in cooling down the six electricity generating power plants. The experts will also join efforts to detect sources of radio activity, the official said.
Ensuring safety of the Japanese civilian population and devising evacuation strategies would also be among the major tasks for the rescue teams that Pakistani experts will join.
Pakistan is a signatory to the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency and a registered member of Response Assistance Network (Ranet) and IAEA. Ranet is designed to provide a compatible and integrated system for the provision of international assistance to minimise the actual or potential radiological consequences of an emergency for health, environment and property.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.