- Posted January 27, 2014 by
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PAK-CHINA NUCLEAR DEAL THREAT FOR WHOM ?
Ever since The prime minister of Pakistan, announced last November that China would help build two nuclear power reactors which is to be located off Karachi (KANNUP 2 and 3), a port city as well as the Largest city of Pakistan with chronic electricity shortages. This deal marks a immense step in nuclear energy cooperation between China and Pakistan, but on the other hand it raised the serious concerns internationally .
It was obvious that arch rival India will raise red flag on the deal. India which has conveyed its objections at both the political and official levels in China, as well as the Nuclear Suppliers Group in the last few months. According to India they made it very clear to the Chinese side that this strong bond of China’s nuclear cooperation with Pakistan has serious security implications for India given that Islamabad is not committed to separate its civilian programme from the military. It is also Indian concern that Pakistan facing political instability and also fighting with militants.
Point to be noted that Pakistan also has a nuclear arsenal and has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), as has its rival India, which also has a nuclear arsenal. Those safety and proliferation concerns have already fed uncertainties about China’s nuclear cooperation with Pakistan. Pakistan and China have said that their cooperation is entirely peaceful and comes under international safeguards through the International Atomic Energy Agency (AEG). Both countries have also pointed to the United States’ civilian nuclear energy agreements with India as a precedent justifying their own cooperation. This shows the intentions of India and its objections on Pak-China Nuclear deal.
Pakistan which is 7th Nuclear Nation and currently has a 40-year-old 125 MWe pressurized heavy water reactor at Karachi and another nuclear power plant at Chashma in Northern Punjab province. This has two 300 MWe Chinese-built pressurized water reactors operating with two more under construction. China, however, has longstanding bilateral arrangements to support Pakistan’s development and the country’s nuclear power reactors are owned and operated under item-specific international safeguards, whereas the sites of nuclear power plants are selected after a rigorous process that involves International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The sites of the upcoming plants have been approved after tedious thoughtfulness of enormous data that includes seismic, tsunami-related, meteorological, oceanic and deep underground texture. Like the former nuclear plants in Pakistan, this data has been included into the designs of the power plants. Coastal areas are usually chosen because large quantities of water are required for cooling and production of steam but like always it appears fashionable to scare the innocent Pakistanis by using the images of Nuclear disasters.
One feel shocked when arch rivals are shouting without even looking at the data sheets or the standards. They must have gone through the technical details, for the readers I must mention few facts and figures which can be rechecked through (http://www.iaea.org ) IAEA’s web site or through the (http://www.world-nuclear.org).
In October 2011 China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that its independently-developed ACP1000 was entering the engineering design stage, initially for Fuqing units 5&6, with 1100 MWe nominal power and load-following capability. It has 177 fuel assemblies 3.66 m long, 18-month refueling interval, and a 60-year design life. It has three coolant loops delivering 3060 MWt, double containment and active safety systems with some passive elements. Average burn up 45,000 MWd/tU. Seismic shutdown is at 300 gal. Instrumentation and control systems will be from Areva-Siemens. In April 2013 it announced an export agreement for an ACP1000, for Pakistan. CNNC asserts full intellectual property rights for the CNP series of reactors, which have evolved to the ACP series.
Pakistan is under agreement of IAEA whereas implementation of IAEA Safeguards in Pakistan dates back to March, 1962 when a trilateral safeguards agreement (INFCIRC/34) was signed for the supply of Pakistan Research Reactor-1 (PARR-1). Since then Pakistan has concluded several safeguards agreements with the Agency. All the safeguards agreements concluded by Pakistan are governed under the Safeguards Document INFCIRC/66/Rev.2, which is a model for countries not party to NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). As per this model the item-specific safeguards are applied to Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.
Being a 66-type country, sometimes, very peculiar nature of safeguards issues arise that are not common in the States with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and which pose challenges for both the IAEA and the country. In Pakistan, not only nuclear material, but non-nuclear material is also subjected to safeguards under the respective Safeguards Agreement. At KANUPP, for example, the heavy water used as moderator and coolant, is under IAEA safeguards.
We must consider that on the data sheet the facts and figures show that this project is viable and beneficiary for Karachi which is the financial capital of Pakistan and needs energy 24/7 for the domestic and industrial activity to maintain progress in economic betterment. The last thing Karachi needs is a hullabaloo over its efforts to deal with energy crises . History proved that Nuclear energy is environmentally the safest, clean and uninterrupted source. Karachi is one of our principal revenue generator which feeds in 75% of National economy and its people deserve to have access to safe, inexpensive and clean energy. The soon these power plants become operational the better. Instead of political or personal mileage of only laying the foundation stone of the project we must make people understand that all the indicators are positive.
There have been serious repercussions of the energy crisis. Everyone in Pakistan has been badly affected by the energy crisis. There was a common belief that only the poor people in Pakistan suffer, but energy crisis has also destroyed the lives of the rich people. Students are not able to learn or concentrate on their studies as the attention is diverted because of the 12-hour load shedding. Industrialists have started relocating their industries to Bangladesh as it is no longer feasible for them to run their businesses in Pakistan. People belonging to the middle class are having great difficulty in finding the jobs because all the major businesses are either shutting down or making their employees redundant.
We as a Nation must stand for the betterment of our Country and for the betterment of people of Pakistan. On the other hand if there are few concerns raised by people of Karachi regarding the safety so it should be addressed on priority basis because its their right to be on the same page.