World Bulletin / News Desk
Pakistan plans to build three new nuclear plants that will produce 8800 MW of electricity per annum by 2030, in order to get over an energy bottleneck causing 20-hour-long power blackouts daily.
Pakistan will increase electric production from nuclear energy to 8,800 MW levels by 2030 and to 40,000 MW by 2050, says Dr. Ansar Parvez, head of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). "These figures may seem high, but still, there will be a 15 per cent deficiency in electricity supply in Pakistan."
Pakistan started building a new nuclear power plant (NPP), K-2, near Karachi, a portcity on the Arabian Sea coast, and will build two new NPPs, Chasma-1 and Chasma-2, in Multan, a city in central Pakistan. The electricity production from nuclear energy accounts for 5 per cent of the total electricity supply and the country has an annual electricity gap of 6,000 MW. The rural areas of the country experience 20-hours-long power blackouts daily whereas, even, the major cities experience around 6-hour blackouts.
Pakistan plans to produce 162,000 MW of electricity by 2030 according to an energy safety policy approved by the state in 2005.
Dr. Parvez, speaking on the nuclear disaster that struck Japan's Fukushima Daiichi NPP, said that Pakistan will pay the utmost attention to nuclear safety and will build the latest generation of reactors that are safer. "Germany and Switzerland are against nuclear energy but France and Russia heavily invest in it. Everybody is aware of the importance of nuclear energy and we do not want to be left behind."
The latest generation of reactors that Pakistan will invest could also provide the country with uranium milling capabilities, said Dr. Maria Sultan from South Asian Strategic Stability Institute.
"The Pakistani people do not want nuclear weapons, and will not want them to be used in the future," said Dr. Parvez Butt, former head of PAEC. "We demand nuclear power for civic purposes."
Pakistan started to pursue nuclear deterrence capability following India's first nuclear device test, codenamed Smiling Buddha, in 1974, Pakistan's neighbor and arch rival. In 1998, Pakistan successfully detonated five nuclear devices, marking Pakistan's entry to a club of limited countries that have atomic bombs.
The pursuit for nuclear weapons left the already-impoverished Pakistan isolated from the international community with sanctions because of obtaining nuclear weapons. Pakistan, established in 1947 by seceding from British India, spent valuable resources on the nuclear program, which averted funds from much-need infrastructure investments for economic and social progress.Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mart 2014, 13:18