KARACHI: This is with reference to Syed Muhammad Ali’s article of January 7 “Karachi — let’s bring the lights back”. The writer states: “ … no incident or accident harmful to the environment or the ecology of Karachi has ever been reported by any international watchdog. Karachi’s lone nuclear power plant has been in operation for over four decades now and the new reactors are being set up at the same site, which has not posed any risk to life and environment, with no fatality due to radiation ever reported.”
This is flawed logic. That is like saying I have never been sick in the past so I will not ever get sick in the future. In reality, past performance is no guarantee of anything in the future. An accident could occur tomorrow. In fact, KANUPP experienced a heavy water leak in 2011, which was reported in the media.
One has to be prepared for the risk of accidents at nuclear reactors. The risk here is the proximity to the city of Karachi. Most of Karachi lies within 30 kilometres of KANUPP. After the Chernobyl accident, area within 30 kilometres of the reactor was rendered uninhabitable. How will we replace Karachi if a similar accident happened here?
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2014.