Pakistan Atomic Energy Commision (PAEC) Meet-Up
January 17, 2015, Saturday turned out to be a very informative session with the officials of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's (PAEC). The Chairman and the General Manager delivered an immaculate presentation regarding their plant operations and further expansion which would not only turn out to be an alternate energy source but would help overcome the energy crisis to a great extent.
Being all ears to the journalists' and bloggers' queries, the representatives did not hesitate in giving honest responses especially when it came to sharing information in black and white. It's a wonder why anti-nuclear activists have been on the verge of shutting an entity's plants down that do not pose any health and environment hazard while having the capacity to make the country self sufficient. A nuclear power plant does not necessarily mean nuclear weapons, end of the world, a zombie apocalypse or giving a ticking time bomb to novices. It means lower green house gas emissions, economic stability, and technological advance.
The first Nuclear Power Plant, 137 MW KANUPP was built in Pakistan in 1972 and has since been self financed, without any subsidy requested from the Government of Pakistan. With a proven track record of being efficient and reliant, PAEC is headed towards stabilising the country, provided we as a nation have faith and stand by it. To bring discussions into promises, Pakistan 2025 Plan has assigned 6,835 MW to nuclear by 2025 while a 2011 NTDC study has revealed that 2,000 MW of Nuclear Power is among the cost effective options to be pursued by 2021.
With K-2 and K-3 plants operating along the coastal ranges, the environmental hazards are close to none, thanks to the proactive precautionary measures taken by PAEC. As discussed, the sea water temperature in Karachi in Summer is 24 degree C to 28 degree C while that in winter is 18 degree C to 24 degree C, therefore, as the water discharges from the thermal plants, the maximum temperature rise beyond a 100 meter range is 3 degree centigrade still not reaching or adding up to the limit of 38 degree C, a level that could affect the fish. Comparing this to winter, there is no potential harm to the fish even this 100 meter area.
Furthermore, the general ecology of the Arabian Sea around K-2 and K-3 outfall is not conducive for the mangroves, coral reefs or the turtle habitat (which are near Sandspit and Hawksbay), eventually shunning any preconceived notions of an adverse impact arising as a result of these plants.
Considering any threat of a natural disaster, for instance, the likes of Tsunami are not likely to destroy the thermal plants that could lead to any hazardous leaks imposing any direct threats to the population of the natural habitat at large. A recent study carried out based on geological, geotectonic and geophysical surveys gauged that Tsunamic waves can only be generated by the Makran Coast with a maximum limit of waves reaching 2.84 meters while the KANUPP Plants are 12 meters high. Looking back at the historical evidence, the mentioned coast did witness an earthquake of a magnitude of 8.3 resulting in 4.5 meters of Tsunami waves.
PAEC, unlike high protocol orthodox organisation is open to queries from the media as they are eager to eradicate any preconceived notions and ready to educate the masses about nuclear technology.
Simply because it's something operated and owned by Pakistanis doesn't mean it's futile or that perhaps it's in the wrong hands. It's something to think about ... by the Pakistanis before somebody else raises a finger on us.