Nuclear power potential should be used for industrialisation rather than weaponisation.
This was among the suggestions speakers made at a national conference on “Prospects of Nuclear Energy in Pakistan:Vision 2025” organised by the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University here on Tuesday.
“I invite the international community to invest in the nuclear power plants in Pakistan. It is a reliable and cheap investment, and a source of energy”, said former Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) chairman Dr Pervez Butt. He said foreign investors should be involved in the nuclear power sector to generate cheap power. “Rest assured that investment in the nuclear power sector will be safe and in line with international standards,” said Dr Butt. He said that if the potential of nuclear power is harnessed, not only could the energy crisis be ended, but numerous employment opportunities will also be created.
“One of the reasons for the unrest and terrorism in Pakistan is the high rate of unemployment. This could be addressed through foreign investment and it is also in the interest of the international community,” said the scientist. “We have to ask the West to come to Pakistan and invest in nuclear power plants,” he maintained.
He further commented that the Pakistan’s nuclear assets are more secure than India because the PAEC is an independent authority. He suggested that Pakistan should focus on nuclear potential for industrialisation.
SASSI University Director General Dr Maria Sultan highlighted the fact that despite the ongoing energy crisis, Pakistan has the capability to overcome the crunch, by utilising the potential of nuclear energy. “Pakistan envisions a bright future pertaining to the nuclear capabilities it possesses”, she said and pointed out that Pakistan’s nuclear power plants have been a success because of their “completely safe and secure operations”.
Later, PAEC Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez gave a special address on the designs of K-II and K-III — which are being added to the existing Karachi Nuclear Power Plant — and the nuclear power industry in general. He answered some questions being raised about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear power industry. He argued that no incident has taken place in Pakistan’s history to justify such questions, but because of lack of knowledge among the masses about how nuclear plants work, such questions continue to be raised.
He also said that by understanding how nuclear power plants work through the design structure and other working mechanisms, people can understand that it will not be hazardous for the environment or the people, but only be beneficial for overcoming the prevailing energy crisis.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Disarmament Director Shaukat Hassan presented his thoughts regarding Pakistan’s peaceful nuclear program.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2014.
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