Environment friendly? SHC extends stay against construction of nuclear plants

Published: November 21, 2014
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The bench also allowed an application filed by two activists, Amina Jilani and Roland deSouza to join the proceedings being 'concerned citizens.' STOCK IMAGE

The bench also allowed an application filed by two activists, Amina Jilani and Roland deSouza to join the proceedings being 'concerned citizens.' STOCK IMAGE

KARACHI: 

The Sindh High Court (SHC) further extended on Thursday the stay against the construction of two nuclear power plants in Karachi.

Headed by SHC chief justice Maqbool Baqar, the bench also extended its previous interim order, restraining the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from commencing work on the plants till November 26.

A group of four citizens – filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, physicists Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy and Dr Abdul Hameed Nayyar, and architect Arif Belgaumi – had challenged the construction of the two nuclear plants as they claimed it was not complying with the environmental laws.

Responding to the court’s notice at the last hearing, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority had filed their reports, stating that the two plants were completely safe for both humans and the environment.

On Thursday, Advocate Abdul Sattar Pirzada, who was representing the petitioners, made partial arguments to the atomic energy commission and regulatory authority’s comments. Adjourning the hearing, the two judges asked Pirzada to continue the arguments at the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the bench also allowed an application filed by two activists, Amina Jilani and Roland deSouza, who had sought the court’s permission to join the proceedings being ‘concerned citizens.’

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2014.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Rabia
    Nov 21, 2014 - 9:53AM

    Many years earlier the IAEA-safeguarded Chashma reactors were targeted by a particular Anti-Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme Group (APNPG) – their is not a critique on principle but is Pakistan-specific – and the arguments proved invalid. Now their guns are fired at the K2 and K3 nuclear power reactors. These anti-nuclear activists stays the same

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  • D'souza
    Nov 21, 2014 - 10:08AM

    SHC must realize that the country is passing through acute energy shortfall and the traditional sources of generating power are not suffice in making the rising energy demands of the country. In this scenario, nuclear power seems to be feasible option, which can generate power for a longer period of time and its activities are not dependent on the very weather. Every technology has its vices but it does not mean to quite benefits related to it. Same goes with nuclear power plants which only requires proper construction and timely maintenance.

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  • Mir Nashmia
    Nov 21, 2014 - 11:55AM

    This is hard to say but a fact that law authorities in Pakistan are in habit of lingering on the cases by giving dates on stay orders. It is what we are experiencing in Karachi Nuclear Power Plants that there is sheer extension of dates which makes the whole nation to suffer from energy crisis. The prospective plan of building nuclear power plants in Karachi is aimed to address the energy deficit of the country. Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state which is working in this domain from decades without any major error. The nuclear authorities are much vigilant to understand all the dynamics which can be affected with nuclear power plants. Pakistan is suffering from acute energy shortage and nuclear has this credential to address the needs in the long run.

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  • Shukran
    Nov 21, 2014 - 4:04PM

    Some statements in the media about earthquake and tsunami risk for the K-2/K-3 site are completely unfounded. In fact, many technical studies have been carried out for the site to ensure that the plant would survive the largest tsunami that can be expected in the region. The maximum predicted earthquake could produce a ground acceleration of 0.2g, while the plant has been designed to withstand a ground acceleration of 0.3g, which provides an additional very large safety margin. Similarly, the best technical analyses have indicated the highest tsunami height expected at Karachi is about 2.8 m above Mean Sea Level (MSL), while the K-2/K-3 ground level is 12 m above MSL.

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