Pakistan’s energy security

Published: January 7, 2014
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The writer is a visiting faculty member at the School of Politics & International Relations, Quaid-e-Azam University

The writer is a visiting faculty member at the School of Politics & International Relations, Quaid-e-Azam University

Energy shortages are driving Pakistanis to an edge and are exacerbating their economic insecurities as well. At places, people have taken to the streets for want of gas. Can these concerns be alleviated by an uninterrupted availability of inexpensive energy sources? Nuclear energy is affordable, whereas other sources are swiftly becoming either financially or politically unfeasible. A good recipe that comprises a mix of resources can enhance Pakistan’s energy security. There is lots of criticism about the decision to construct two 2,200MW nuclear power plants (NPP) on Karachi’s coastline by 2019. Interestingly, these anxieties have been offered sans solutions. In November last year, Nawaz Sharif had announced that his administration has envisioned that nuclear energy will add 40,000MW to the national grid by the year 2050 at an affordable cost. What role will nuclear power generation play in Pakistan’s energy mix?

Pakistan has an installed electricity generation capacity of 22,797MW. The average demand is 17,000MW and the shortfall is between 4,000 and 5,000MW. Oil (35.2 per cent), hydel (29.9 per cent), gas (29 per cent), and nuclear and imported (5.8 per cent) are the principal sources. In the next 10 years, peak electricity demand is expected to rise by four to five per cent, which is roughly 1,500MW. This dismal forecast is due to a lopsided energy mix, diminishing indigenous fuel reserves, increasing circular debt and transmission hold-ups. Pakistan has almost exhausted its gas reserves. Imported oil’s price hikes affect the budget and its constant supply cannot be guaranteed. Pakistan has the potential to meet these energy challenges through hydel power but there are political and environmental issues in building dams. Rationality demands reducing reliance on oil and going for alternatives. The development of alternatives does not happen overnight. Pakistan will have to rely on imported fuels for the interim period at a huge cost. LNG is difficult to import, using coal has environmental issues, using shale gas also has environmental issues attached with it, and wind power has transmission network challenges.

Nuclear energy seems the best option for Pakistan because the cost of oil-based generation, other alternatives and their indigenisation is pretty high. The nuclear reactors that are being constructed in Karachi are called Advance China Pressurised–1000 reactors and are the latest technology over which China has complete intellectual property rights. These reactors are often confused with Chinese CPR-1000 design that is an advanced version of French M-310 technology. China also has complete intellectual property rights for that technology. It’s a global norm that nuclear reactors are released for sale only after passing through several developmental stages. Like any other industry, there is always a first buyer and here Pakistan is no exception. Besides this, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) watchful eyes do not compromise on design and safeguards standards. International practices show that the close proximity of reactors to Karachi should not be of great concern. Sixty-five out of 104 reactors in the US are within a 10-50 miles vicinity of densely populated states like New York. Despite the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster of 1979, those ageing American reactors pose no safety concerns. It has been internationally accepted that NPPs are more environment-friendly compared with fossil fuel-based plants. Industrialisation has its hazards — even dams have environmental issues — but the fact remains that NPPs provide clean and uninterrupted power supply at a competitive cost.

The two reactors have a reported US$9.1 billion capital cost, which is expensive indeed. However, these will be cheaper in the long-term due to affordable power generation cost. China is not only providing the NPP technology; unlike other suppliers, it is reportedly offering 82 per cent of the financing as well. The current energy basket rate for electricity generation in Pakistan is around Rs12.3/KWHr, which is calculated by taking a mean of the cost of electricity from all sources. In that sense, NPPs with a levelised cost of electricity in the range of Rs5-8/KWHr is worthwhile.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 cast a dark spell on the use of nuclear energy — but for a short while. Japan had abandoned its reliance on nuclear energy but has recently reverted its stance. The Fukushima disaster was not due to technical failures or inadequate safety features. An unparalleled tsunami completely swamped the back-up power for cooling the plants. China has offered cutting edge technology with the latest safety and design features. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the IAEA remain actively involved in selecting the sites for the new reactors and a thorough survey has been done in this regard.

There is a misperception that China has violated its obligations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in offering these reactors to Pakistan. It is worth noting that China is, in fact, meeting international legal obligations of a nuclear agreement that it made with Pakistan in 1986, which was before it joined the NSG in 2004. This, notwithstanding, these reactors, will be under IAEA safeguards and will produce electricity, not bombs. The criticism about these reactors is political in context. This peaceful nuclear cooperation can be considered to be an effort on Pakistan’s part to counterbalance the Indo-US nuclear deal and New Delhi’s efforts to join the NSG, which is a nuclear export control cartel. The US offered the nuclear deal to India for economic returns and also because of New Delhi’s so-called potential as a counterweight to Beijing. Pakistan’s agreement with China predates the Indo-US nuclear deal and Islamabad has no extra-regional ambitions. The Pakistan-China deal does not violate international norms but the Indo-US nuclear deal does. The US bent its domestic laws and pressurised NSG members to bend theirs for potential trade with India.

Nuclear energy is a quintessential part of Pakistan’s energy mix. Scarce hydrocarbon sources pose political, economic and environmental issues. Nuclear energy is a safe and viable alternative. Pakistan spends $1 billion in oil imports per 1,000 MW, which is not cost-effective. Nuclear energy can reduce that burden. China has shared the safest and the most cutting edge technology that will alleviate the burden on the Pakistani economy and enhance energy security — no one else has made us such an offer. Nuclear energy is an effective solution that will produce uninterrupted electricity at an affordable price. Let’s hope we overcome the simple challenge of switching on a light bulb.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • abid
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:30AM

    thanks and please forward this article to sindh cm.Recommend

  • Faraz Kakar
    Jan 7, 2014 - 1:46AM

    Dear author: your article is nicely written and clears some misconceptions but the issue of building nuclear reactors close to Pakistan’s biggest city require further discussion. I have a feeling that you have tried to answer the concerns raised by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy et al in their article published mid December (http://www.dawn.com/news/1074169/nuclear-karachi). I think it would be wise for the concerned authorities to setup a panel of experts that carefully examines all aspects of this project. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy is an internationally recognised and well respected scientist in this field and can provide pertinent and valuable advice to the government on this issue. Rushing into a project as sensitive as this one just to compete with the US-India deal would be unwise and unsafe.Recommend

  • kjijii
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:04AM

    The nuclear power plant in Karachi will come across the radius among the most dense population. Nuclear power plant will be dangerous during earthquakes if they are not safeguarded properly and not all know about China technology and it is not tested in the past.

    France has the best technology not China as author is telling

    Recommend

  • shahid
    Jan 7, 2014 - 5:02AM

    Check this three year old study which shows that solar energy is more cost effective than nuclear.

    http://theenergycollective.com/oshadavidson/40559/study-solar-power-cheaper-nuclear

    Why are we continuing to push for energy generating technologies which are old, risky and prone to long term problems. Look at the US where hardly any new nuclear energy based power plants have been set up for many years. The plants that the author refers to are all old plants which were built long time ago when dangers inherent in the nuclear technologies were not well understood and when alternate technologies did not exist. The whole world, particularly the western world is moving to renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. Why are we pushing fossilized technologies? May be these will sell in poor third world countries as not much information exists about their dangers. The advanced world has decided to move on.

    Recommend

  • polpot
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:00AM

    “That nuclear energy will add 40,000MW to the national grid by the year 2050 at an affordable cost. ‘
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So what is the affordable cost? A benchmark is the exorbitant Nelum Jhelum’s electricty priced at Rs 10 About the same price as that being paid to Iran .
    So will the Chinese Reactors deliver electricty at Rs 10 per unit inclsuive of costs for disposing off the nuclear wastes?

    Recommend

  • polpot
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:04AM

    “hydropower can be our salvation in the power sector — the only indigenous and abundant resource that can make electricity affordable and cheap enough to cost around Rs2 per unit.
    Electricity from coal is Rs10, furnace oil over Rs16, gas over Rs4 and wind about Rs14 per 30,000MW in 10 years. ”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/639689/energy-solutions-hydroelectric-power-the-way-forward/
    Dear Author; Whats the figure for the Chinese reactors?

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  • polpot
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:09AM

    “Pakistan currently generates 37 per cent (6,700MW) of its electricity from hydropower on the Indus and has the potential to increase its capacity to over 25,000MW. ”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Source:http://tribune.com.pk/story/654025/glacier-melting-and-hydroelectric-uncertainty-in-south-asia/
    My qn: The article claims that Hdyroelectricty contributes to 29.9% .
    Why the differnce?

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  • polpot
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:17AM

    NPPs with a levelised cost of electricity in the range of Rs5-8/KWHr is worthwhile.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What is ‘levelised ‘ Anyway the figure is a serious understimation even at the high end of Rs 8.
    Where will the author be a few years down the road?

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  • Mobeen
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:43AM

    There are certain economic advantages in setting up nuclear power plants and using nuclear energy in place of conventional energy.The emission of greenhouse gases has reduced to near half due to the popularity in the use of nuclear power. Nuclear energy by far has the lowest impact on the environment since it does not release any gases like carbon dioxide, methane, which are largely responsible for the greenhouse effect. There is no adverse effect on water, land or any habitats.Unlike renewable sources of energy like solar and wind that require sun or wind to produce electricity, nuclear energy can be produced from nuclear power plants even in rough weather conditions. They can produce power 24/7 and need to be shut down only for maintenance purposes.

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  • Mobeen
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:49AM

    Very good Article. Energy security, the ability of a nation to secure sustainable energy supplies to meet its energy needs at reasonable prices, has become a major energy policy imperative. If India can be accommodated in the nuclear energy market despite not agreeing to accede to the non-proliferation treaty, and given a waiver to trade by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Pakistan should not be an exception.Energy is linked with economic prospects and the energy security comprised of availability, accessibility, acceptability and affordability. Nuclear power enhances energy security and it helps to preserve the natural environment. Pakistan is an energy-deficient country and nuclear is the main solution to over these crisis

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  • Hemant
    Jan 7, 2014 - 9:30AM

    India launched it Solar Power Mission in 2009 and the installed capacity went up from 2.5 MW
    to over 1000 MW in 2013 . A 4000 MW solar energy farm is now being planned at Sambhar
    Lake in Rajasthan .
    The challenges and opportunities in India and Pakistan are similar perhaps there are some learnings from the Indian Solar mission that Pakistan may examine .

    Recommend

  • Jan 7, 2014 - 9:58AM

    The Chinese ACP-1000 reactors are Generation III design and will be first ever built in Pakistan because China is afraid to build them in their own country. China is building instead four APC-1000 US Westinghouse reactors which are Generation III+ design. The Chinese ACP-1000 will take at least 25 years to build because these reactors will be built on trial and error basis, therefore, China has offered to build them in Pakistan rather than China. Pakistan government understands this issue, but have to resort to the only solution to please the people in believing they are getting state of the art reactors.

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  • Zaryab
    Jan 7, 2014 - 10:35AM

    Civil nuclear cooperation is an appreciatable step towards development anf first and the foremost concern of making Pakistan to overcome its energy shortfall. The author has explicitly tried to convince the public about the importance of nuclear power and also pin pointed the facts accurately. Its a fact that things are come up with the package of advantages and disadvantages. energy produce through nuclear power plants will be affordable for Pakistan and constructing of these plants in Karachi city will also be beneficial for the economic growth of Pakistan because Karachi is the main trading hub of the country. all the economic activities are to some extent paused because of energy shortage. Though Fukushima and chernobyl left negative perceptions regarding the nuclear power in the minds of people but there are also many countries which are still producing energy through nuclear power plants.

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  • Jan 7, 2014 - 11:20AM

    I think besides the political rhetoric, there is no rational and logical argument against what author has suggested in this logical and well written piece. However, I would agree with one of the commentator who suggested to raise this important issue in an expert level discussion at national level.There is no doubt that energy security has become the major challenge to Pakistan’s economic stability and if there is no logical and reasonable alternative of nuclear energy in this dire situation, we should start materializing it without any further delay.

    Recommend

  • scotchpak
    Jan 7, 2014 - 11:43AM

    Pakist­an spends $1 billio­n in oil import­s per 1,000 MW, which is not cost-effect­ive. Nuclea­r energy can reduce burden.
    The current energy basket rate for electricity generation in Pakistan is around Rs12.3/KWHr, which is calculated by taking a mean of the cost of electricity from all sources. In that sense, NPPs with a levelised cost of electricity in the range of Rs5-8/KWHr is worthwhile.

    These are just financial manipulations and should not be used in cost caparisons. The cost of soil contamination in case of an accident (nuclear) is beyond economics. Mankind has gone from coal, to oil, to gas, to nukes. We never exploited coal (due to pressure groups within), were forced to use oil (friendly groups offering credits) to misused gas (badly maintained distribution systems for cooking) and now nuclear power (no return option- we cant even shut it down to be safe)
    Development of coal technology is by far the best option and a tried-and-test way forward

    Recommend

  • yasir
    Jan 7, 2014 - 11:50AM

    Some experts argue that the world is heading towards a global energy crisis due to a decline in the availability of cheap oil and recommend a decreasing dependency on fossil fuel. This has led to increasing interest in alternate power/fuel research such as fuel cell technology etc. Pakistan will install the nuclear power plants to meet severe energy crisis.

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  • Meeshal
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:00PM

    With the changing dynamics of international security, countries move from traditional security threats to nontraditional security threats. Energy security has become a widely pronounced phenomenon at present. Economy is the backbone for the prosperous country and energy is essential to run the economy. Pakistan’s economy suffers very badly due to energy pitfall. It is in need to carve out new zones of energy sources. No other state than China comes forward to support Pakistan to get rid of this energy crisis. The whole world is enjoying with the benefits of nuclear energy so there should be no strangeness in the Pakistani case also

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  • Nehal
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:10PM

    Every state has the right to carve out every horizon to facilitate its statehood. Energy security is an essential element of national power. The controversies around the developments of Karachi Nuclear Power Plants are absolutely baseless nothing substantial to oppose. This is a joint venture of Pakistan and China; two states which are having nuclear technology from a longer period of time. The nuclear power plants are not a new addition in the country. Many countries are peacefully using the civilian nuclear energy. The adaptation of civilian nuclear energy would be instrumental to facilitate the energy outrage of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Usman
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:19PM

    Factually well-articulated piece as some of the world’s top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won’t be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they’re asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution. The arguments against nuclear power for safety reason are absurd. Despite this evidence, some claim that nuclear power is more dangerous. When asked to explain this claim, they say that accidents will happen because we are human and human beings always make mistakes, however there is one way to avoid human mistakes leading to serious nuclear accidents. That is to take human judgment out of the equation.

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  • Yumna
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:20PM

    This is absolutely unacceptable to believe China and Pakistan become irresponsible with this joint civilian nuclear venture. They are possessing nuclear technology from decades so this is not a very first time orientation with nuclear technology. Except than this this Pakistan is adapting the nuclear power at large for civilian purposes as country is in dire need of energy. Nuclear energy is the safest source of power generation. Nuclear energy is one of the major trend of power generation. Pakistan is trying to strengthening itself on energy security parameters which is Pakistan’s right and nobody can deny this.

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  • Usman
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:30PM

    China has complete confidence in Pakistan’s capacity to run a nuclear power plant with all checks in place. As things stand, the performance and capacity of nuclear power plants in Pakistan is far better compared to non-nuclear plants. Also there is no official information about preparedness for a nuclear accident in Karachi that is available publicly. Meanwhile, If critics who argue this deal to be dangerous for the peoples can give alternatives and other platforms to raise money for low-cost, clean power, then one might willing to listen them as they are just indulge in their profound agendas behind all this.

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  • Pareesa
    Jan 7, 2014 - 12:32PM

    Every state has the right to carve out every horizon to facilitate its statehood. Energy security is an essential element of national power. The controversies around the developments of Karachi Nuclear Power Plants are absolutely baseless nothing substantial to oppose. This is a joint venture of Pakistan and China; two states which are having nuclear technology from a longer period of time. The nuclear power plants are not a new addition in the country. Many countries are peacefully using the civilian nuclear energy. The adaptation of civilian nuclear energy would be instrumental to facilitate the energy outrage of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jan 7, 2014 - 1:14PM

    All the arguments are fine but who is going to assume the liability in case of equipment failure and deaths ? In the India/US Nuclear deal there is no progress because equipment manufacturers want to dodge the liability clauses. Pakistan has even less bargaining leeway with China to make this kind of demand. We are talking of a Nuclear wasteland in case of an accident or malfunction, nothing to be trifled with.

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  • Ayub
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:35PM

    A case in favor of Nuclear Energy to fetch Pakistan’s Energy Needs. A wonderfully presented hypothesis supported by facts and figures. Exceptional style of the writer is attracting conviction for which I felicitate him. Nevertheless, I am an admirer of the writer.

    On the contrary Nuclear Power is not one of the cheapest options in fact. It gets its toll in the form of human lives and environment. Nuclear hazards are extremely unbearable beside the cost of disposing off nuclear waste. Energy needs must not over ride the Human Safety.

    Pakistan’s required energy mix, to my mind, can best be fetched by exploring Renewable Energy options. Happy and well recommended reading please.

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  • Amina
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:38PM

    I am not against these nuclear, it will be better though if they were built at some distance away from Karachi. also, smaller nuclear plants of about 100 mw are some what safer. Finally, the author misses a very important point and that is in case of a failure, the consequences would be catastrophic, nuclear contamination for thousands of years.

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  • Ayub
    Jan 7, 2014 - 4:46PM

    A case in favor of Nuclear Energy to fetch Pakistan’s Energy Needs. A wonderfully presented hypothesis supported by facts and figures. Exceptional style of the writer is attracting conviction for which I felicitate him. Nevertheless, I am an admirer of the writer.

    On the contrary Nuclear Power is not one of the cheapest options in fact. It gets its toll in the form of human lives and environment. Nuclear hazards are extremely unbearable beside the cost of disposing off nuclear waste. Energy needs must not over ride the Human Safety.

    Pakistan’s required energy mix, to my mind, can best be fetched by exploring Renewable Energy options.

    Recommend

  • Tahira
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:09PM

    We should make use of our nuclear power plant as soon as possible so that it may provide us electricity in an excess quantity. Total power supply should be increased by making use of renewable resources. In other words, we can say that we need to have an energy mix, only then we will be in a position to have appropriate and suitable amount of electricity in our country.

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  • Robert
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:10PM

    Pakistan is in dire need of energy. It will continue to explore new sources and the civilian nuclear agreement with China is one of them

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  • Nusrat
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:17PM

    nuclear power can play a vital role. Nuclear power is a safe, clean and reliable source of electricity. Nuclear power has a key significance in providing base-load electricity and minimizing imports of oil, gas and coal. It is essential to continue the development of nuclear power, even at a modest pace, in order to develop local capabilities and to meet Pakistan’s future electricity needs.

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  • Toby
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:20PM

    Pakistan has a solid base of engineering and technology and time-tested human resource which can handle the challenges and benefit from the opportunities which are available in
    the nuclear arena.

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  • A Sindhu
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:31PM

    @Faraz Kakar: Dr Hoodbhoy is internationally recognized and well respected indeed, but not as a physicist or a scientist. He worked more on social issues!
    No state constitute a panel etc for debating site selection. There is a separate mechanism. IAEA is involved in approving the site and plants’ design parameters. The nuclear regulatory authority of Pakistan is the national watchdog.
    Why fix something that ain’t broke?

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  • A Sindhu
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:34PM

    @abid: He also knows that Karachi needs bijlee but his opposition has to be seen in the domestic political context. If Sind CM were a PM, his stance would be different.

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  • Majid
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:38PM

    @Toby: I agree. However, like any other country Pakistan also needs greater access to civil nuclear technology. Once the country’s economy bounces and the industry takes root the reliance on leading countries in nuclear power plant technology may ultimately reduce.

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  • Fahad
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:49PM

    @Ayub: You are right. Hydropower is probably the least expensive energy source. But the problem is that Pakistanis are ready to go for each other’s throats on proposals like building of Kalabagh Dam! The issue is politically sensitive. Can we build consensus construction of new dams?
    Also consider the prospect of loss of lives and damage to environment that can happen in case of an accident in water dams.
    Dry disposal of nuclear waste is a challenge that is faced by even America. Pakistan has a minuscule nuclear program and would not have accumulated much waster in last 40 years. Once more plants come online, they would be able to find a repository to permanently bury the waste. My guess is that the amount of waste produced from the fuel is also under international safeguards commitments that Pakistan has made. Neither Pakistan nor the Atomic Agency would take a chance on safety.

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  • Farah
    Jan 7, 2014 - 6:57PM

    @kjijii: Have a look at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/population-density-around-nuke-plants-soars/ This provides the risk to the population in America from the close proximity of nuclear power plants. Is US risking the lives of millions and is irrational? Nopes – neither is Pakistan.

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  • Sameen
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:06PM

    I tend to disagree a bit Mr Shahid. UK is in the process of phasing out its old plants and has almost concluded a deal with a consortium of Chinese and French companies for new power plants. France continues to rely heavily on nuclear energy. The plants in the U.S. are old but that does not mean that those plants are unsafe. Nuclear power plants have a design life and after that these are continually checked thoroughly. In case of a safety hazard the countries shut down the reactors like the UK is doing. New plants are expensive and decision to build new reactors requires deliberate decision. That is why the US has aging but safe plants. This also true in case of Pakistan. The new plants are latest technology. Chill out man :)

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  • Sameen
    Jan 7, 2014 - 7:14PM

    @Feroz: If there were a liability issue, Pakistan and China would have brought it up. It is true that In the India/US Nuclear deal there is no progress as far as Americans are concerned. Other manufacturers have been able to milk the Indian market. Nuclear liability law affects other supplier states also but they are comfortable. The problem is that American government does not provide liability support to General Electric and Westinghouse, but Russian, French and Chines companies do!

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  • Muhammad Ashraf Janjua
    Jan 7, 2014 - 8:29PM

    I, very strongly, praise the research work carried out by the author besides lacing his sentences with quite heavy and convincing words. However, in my opinion, the author is very cordially requested to further expand his study on the subject. It is not only the matter of expressing mere figurative aspects of an issue rather going into the nuts and bolts of a particular problem. Pakistan is ideally situated in a region where she enjoys all the rewards of nature in shape of rivers, sun, winds and so on. If we are blessed with these treasures then is there any use to endanger the densely populated areas / cities with the menace of Nuclear Power Plants. I think, “NO”. The most essential aspect for Pakistan is to utilize her natural resources to the optimum and generate as much power as desired through wind power, solar power, hydel power and other natural resources like coal. If these sources are utilized wisely and tactfully rather more sincerely by our leadership / govt then it is very easy to say that we will flourish day by day and also improve our socio-economic and politico-economic condition very soon.

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  • Tariq Sohaib
    Jan 7, 2014 - 10:24PM

    In recent times many anti-nuclear activists were presenting the negative perceptions about the Pakistan’s first largest nuclear program. It is well articulated slap on their views about the safety and security of Pakistan’s abilities to operate larger nuclear projects. Other energy resources in times of economic crises are putting further burden on the economy, nuclear power generation is long running and viable option. On the same note Pakistan and China both follows the best international IAEA safeguards and reactors that are ordered are advanced 3rd generation with extra safety measures.

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  • Khurram Nazir mirza
    Jan 7, 2014 - 10:43PM

    A well written Article; Well Done Kazmi

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  • baacha786
    Jan 7, 2014 - 10:44PM

    @ faraz i think the study can be better understood by the article (http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/20397/no-dr-hoodbhoy-karachi-is-not-headed-towards-nuclear-doom/) The two reactors have a billion dollars cost at once but will provide the electricity for long time, though expensive but better than paying almost tipple the amount in other form ,,,, . Will be cheaper in the long-term because by oil if the poor man is charged at 12 -18 rupees per unit electricity it’s better to be charged 5 rupees by nuclear energy…the people in street wants cheap energy that’s what is the demand ….and nuclear can provide that as the author has mentioned. Pakistan and china’s cooperation is need of hour. And in case of the safty and secty I think Pakistan has one of the best record in maintaining nuclear power plants. we need it for sayng no to load shedding…..

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  • afkashmir
    Jan 8, 2014 - 3:19AM

    The author is clearly an apologist for nuclear power. Nothing wrong with that but this does not give the author the author the licence to rubbish Pakistan’s extensive conventional energy resources– hydro, coal, gas, oil, solar and wind.

    Pakistan has proven conventional natural gas ( not to be confused with shale oil and gas) reserves that could suffice for another 50-60 years. See the reports of US Energy Information Agency. The reason that there is little or no exploration and development of domestic conventional gas resources is a distorted pricing regime for domestically produced gas, that heavily subsidizes domestic consumption. Changing that requires a stroke of the regulatory pen and that would bring in both domestic and foreign investment for explotation of the country’s proven gas reserves.

    What needs to be changed are energy policy and price distortions, and this would help create energy security and not imported nuclear technology and nuclear fuel from China ( which adds to energy insecurity and does not reduce it).

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  • Abdul Hameed
    Jan 8, 2014 - 11:41AM

    You say: “.. the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) watchful eyes do not compromise on design and safeguards standards.”

    IAEA Director General Amano said publicly in March 2011 after Fukushima accident– “we are not a ‘nuclear safety watchdog’ and. .. responsibility for nuclear safety lies with our Member States,”  — http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/statements/2011/amsp2011n007.htmland  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/world/asia/22iht-atomic22.html

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  • sterry
    Jan 8, 2014 - 11:57PM

    Great article that clarifies much of the misconceptions by fear mongers such as Pervez Hoodbhoy. Pervez Hoodbhoy is mostly anti Pakistan whenever you read any of his comments.

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  • Abida Hussain
    Jan 9, 2014 - 1:51AM

    @afkashmir: The author is clearly a rationalist. He has talked of the energy mix and since we have problems in making new dams etc, nuclear energy is indeed a winner

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  • Majoka
    Jan 9, 2014 - 2:00AM

    @Abdul Hameed: Those statements were political and in a different context.
    Kindly see IAEA’s document that gives details of Agency’s inspections of under construction nuclear power plants in Spain! Available at http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/Public/09/368/9368473.pdf
    Also see IAEA’s Safety Guide of 2002. Available at http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1130
    scr.pdf
    We are usually misled by political statements and overlook the facts!!!!

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  • A Khan
    Jan 9, 2014 - 3:44AM

    @Dipak:

    False informastion. Two ACP1000 units are planned for Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province in China.

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  • Jan 9, 2014 - 11:50PM

    [email protected] Khan:
    Only on the paper. No real work.

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  • Bilal Anwar
    Jan 24, 2014 - 12:43AM

    I found the article informative but heavily biased towards nuclear technology. The content does not match-up with the title which is about energy security. First of all energy constitute a lot more than just electricty. Undoubtedly, electricity is the most key and important componenet of overall energy basket of a country…but what about other types of fuels, such as, fuel for transportation which is fast expanding sector in Pakistan. And natural gas for particular industries like fertilizer. Pakistan’s energy crises is far more complex than just electric power.
    The article rubs off the role and scope for every other technology in world which may have to potential to supply power in a clean, risk free and also economically. There is such a great technological revolution taking place in renewables which can meet the demand without exerting any more load on our already failing electricity distribution network. Fundamental aspect of energy security is to have the diversity in energy sources so that risk can be minimised. Nucelar certainly carry the promise but higher initial capital investment requirements remains a hurdle other than safety risks and risks associated with nucear waste.

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