Civil society welcomes PAEC for setting up 2 nuclear power plants in Karachi

SEPA ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT ON K-2, K-3

KARACHI: People of Karachi had Monday showed solidarity to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) on setting up two nuclear power plants, K-2 and K-3 in close vicinity of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP), which is normally called as K-I, which was commissioned 45 years ago.

The commencement of the two K-2 and K-3 was already much delayed as some HR activists and NGO representatives had moved Sindh High Court and had obtained a Stay Order, which lasted for 6 months and the national exchequer suffered a colossal financial loss amounting to Rs.600 million per day. However, the higher court had vacated the Stay Order.

On Monday, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) conducted a public hearing on the issues of environmental pollution as were raised by the NGO representatives and other public figures, which were in severe opposition to the new nuclear power plants. There were as many as 20 in the public hearing, who spoke on the subject matter and showed their solidarity to the PAEC and endorsed their decision for setting up the nuclear plants in Karachi at Hawks Bay.

However, the chief executive of a local NGO Shehri CBE De’souza had read a detailed letter in which he opposed the idea of setting up new nuclear power plants in Karachi.On the other hand, the local residents’ representatives, fishermen, lawyers and other dignitaries from the civil society lambasted De’souza for his negative ideas on the nuclear power plants.

PAEC adviser on Nuclear Projects Dr Ansar Pervez had outspokenly addressed the public hearing and dissipated all premonitions, fears that revolved around radiation, through his academic and 3 year long expertise on nuclear system.

The audience had lauded him on his versatile briefing and the knowledge he shared with the audience. He had quite patiently answered all the questions from the audience.On the concerns of Shehri CBE, Dr Pervez told the audience that not a single casualty occurred from radiation from the KANUPP and the standards maintained by the PAEC were acclaimed worldwide.

He told the audience that the radiation from the KANUPP was nearly one-tenth of a single MS while the radiation in Kerala in India and in an Iranian city was 35 MS and 260 MS respectively. On the other hand, the intake of radiation through a CT Scan and Radiology was 30 MS and 2 MS respectively. In just a single trip from Karachi to Washington Dc by air would leave the radiation into human economy by 260 MS, which was even higher than the radiation obtained after sitting beside the wall of KANUPP for constant 20 years.
He said the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy was concerned, all those die in the mishap were fire fighters and not a single casualty of civilian was reported while only 2 died in the Fukushima nuclear mishap.

He told the audience that in order to meet country’s energy needs, the entire gas reserves of the country, if utelised only for power generation could only suffice country’s need for energy for just 1 year while all the oil reserves of the country, if placed to power generation would only suffice country’s 17 years’ need for the energy. However, the two nuclear power plants were the only source of cheaper energy for a country like Pakistan.

Later, SEPA Director General Naeem Ahmed Mughal opened the proceedings apprising the audience of the purpose and scope of the meeting. He also invited the PAEC representative for a detailed presentation on K-2, K-3 N-power plants. During the public hearing under the SEAP’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report was submitted by PAEC.

The technical representatives responded to all the concerns based on scientific facts and international norms. They tackled the tricky questions in professional manner and provided satisfying responses. While there were some dissenting voice, but the public at large favoured provision of nuclear electrical power to address energy deficit to the city.