Nuclear power is competitive, economical, reliable and clean energy source; Hameed Akbar

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Mr. Hameed Akbar, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Policy and Technology, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University while speaking at the Webinar on “Success Story of Civilian Nuclear Power in Pakistan” stated that energy planners started to accord a much greater role to nuclear power in their quest for suitable substitutes to burning oil and to assure a more diversified energy supply for the world. Nuclear power is competitive, economical, reliable and clean energy source.

Mr Zia Siddiqui, Ex-Member (P) of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) stated that Nuclear power is an essential component of the energy mix as the best source for reliable energy generation because it provides the lowest operational cost. Future needs carbon free energy to restrict global warming and nuclear energy s promising in this context. Since nuclear energy avoids concerns about environmental daily, seasonal variation, location and energy security. The Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) fixed a target of 8,800 MW installed capacity for nuclear energy in 2030, but only 3500 is already committed up to K-3 and another 100 MW could be committed through C-5. He said that last year our nuclear program was able to contribute 7% of all the electricity generated in Pakistan from only 3.8% of installed capacity. By the end of 2021, PAEC have 6 nuclear power plants operating and clearly our nuclear program is moving from a small scale to a significant size. Pakistan NPP’s are well equipped for emergency preparedness, while disinformation cause panic in public emergency situation. Safety of NPP is primary responsibility of PAEC. Government provide number of support to PAEC e.g. approval of financial basis, disaster management, licensing of NP installation, approval of Tariff etc.
Mr. Yusuf Raza, ex member (P) of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said that DG of IAEA gave a very elaborative message about a robust, normative safety framework of nuclear power plant. Nuclear power plant do not emit greenhouse gasses which are responsible for climate change thus make it a cleanest source of energy. If we compare the operational cost of nuclear energy it is far less than any other renewable energy resource. The propaganda that revolves around the nuclear radiation safety and health concerns, the death toll caused by energy produced from coal is higher than that of nuclear thus negating the propaganda. In the spectrum of energy security nuclear energy is the best solution along with hydro, but hydro energy is subject to seasonal variation. Public safety is of prime importance for PNRA, and NPP in Pakistan are equipped with safety equipment, as we have active and passive safety for last 60 years. K-2 has a unique feature of double containment, sealing function for main coolant pump and DAS (Diversity Activation System) which shows that safety is top priority in NPP of Pakistan. The total cost for 60 years of Pakistan of energy generated from oil is 5311, LNG 3331, coal is 2758 while of nuclear is 1213 Rupees in billion which makes it a cheaper energy. In view of increasing electricity demand indigenous resource imitation, Pakistan needs to exercise options of making larger use of nuclear energy.

Mrs. Bushra Nasim, former Director General of PAEC sets the ground by stating that nuclear energy is environment friendly as it has no CO2 emissions. Nuclear power plant produces relatively more energy than other clean air electricity generation technology. Pakistan NPP’s have necessary elements of preparedness in case of emergency and a regulatory protocol which is made obligatory by making it a part of legislation and have incorporated International standards for effective response in any situation. The goal of emergency preparedness is to regain control of the situation, mitigate the consequences, save lives, minimize health effects, and protect property and the environment to the extent practicable resumption of normal social and economic activity. Government id responsible for the nuclear material to be used beneficially and ensure proper application of standards in practice by providing assistance and assigning responsibilities. Hazards and potential risks must be identified and possible consequences of emergency shall be assessed to provide a basis for establishing EPR arrangements, and shall be commensurate. Energy access is of fundamental driving forces of development. The United Nation says that “energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today.

Dr. Javaid Khurshid, Senior Research fellow Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) said that global warming has increased due to Earth’s average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gasses. The effect of climate change is rise of temperature, melting ice and rising sea level and changes in precipitation patterns which affects humans, organisms and agriculture. The climate change is evident by the ocean acidification, arctic ice become thinner, changes in animal breeding cycle and storm frequency. Human have contributed significantly in climate change and out of all the anthropogenic activities, energy sector has contributed up to 26%. The current level ofCOS2 is around 420-438ppm while 550ppm is the established standard to prevent global warming. In order to mitigate this, we need to move towards safer energy option to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Energy is required for sustainable development as it is the 7th goal in SDG. Power generation is cause of air pollution so nuclear energy gives the optimum solution for clean and green energy. It is evident that 1kg of enriched Uranium can give same amount of energy as 3000 tons of coal with negligible CO2 emission. Nuclear power is a mature technology. It is beneficial, responsible and sustainable. So more nuclear power plant will be vital to protect wildlife and address climate change. Nuclear energy is cost effective and offer clear benefit such as reducing carbon dioxide and mitigating climate change.

Mr. Muhammad Attique, PAEC NP Corporate Management Consultant said that the course contents are reviewed and revised periodically with expected changes, feedback is taken for improvement. We also maintain record of trainees, so the effect of changes can be tracked. The qualification required for the officers is masters and is offered by institutes like KINPOE, PIEAS and CHASCENT. Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA), Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) are regulatory author and independent external and internal oversight agencies to maintain radiation safety. Safety is built at initial stage and is not compromised rather it is enhanced periodically. Communication is very important in a way that aware public about the activities and steps taken at the management level for safety. Periodic reviews and visits are ensured to not compromise on plant safety. Organization and institute are bound to establish a positive behavior regarding nuclear culture.

Mr. Hameed Akbar, Director Centre for Nuclear Policy and Technology CNPT-SASSI moderated the webinar.

The Director General/ Chairperson South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) Dr. Maria Sultan concluded the webinar by stating that the need for this webinar is to celebrate the inauguration of K-2 Nuclear Power Plant which is connected to grid in March, 2021. Pakistan has the structure to maintain such a program and necessary safety protocol to operate the nuclear power plant. More efforts must be made by the Government of Pakistan to invest and support Pakistan Nuclear Energy Program, required that may be allocated so that Pakistan has energy Sufficient and environment Visible.

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