Staff Report KHI: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was besieged by colossal support from people of Karachi on setting up of two nuclear power plants K-2, K-3 near KANUPP (K-I).
.The development on K-2, K-3 was delayed after some antagonistic activists and representatives from NGOs had filed petition in Sindh High Court and obtained stay order that longed for a span of 6 months due to which hefty financial loss amounting Rs.600 million per day was inflicted to national exchequer.
Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), on Monday, conducted public hearing pertaining to the issue of environmental impacts of K-2, K-3 which were raised by the NGO representatives and other known figures which leveled vehement, cumbersome criticism on setting up of these nuclear power plants.
The participants gave their opinion in solidarity with PAEC and sanctioned their decision in avid favor of setting up of K-2, K-3 except an owner of a local NGO who expressed her opinion against the nuclear power plants. The local residents, representatives, fisherman, lawyers, and other dignitaries from civil society opposed her ideas with concrete substantial arguments leaving her almost ridiculed and solitary at the event.
The programme was also attended by members of the fishing communities that unreservedly backed the project, and considered K-2, K-3 as significant projects to escalate their neglected areas for decades.
A fisherman expressed his opinion that, “It’s an issue of our survival because we believe that this project will bring job opportunities for the locals. We urge the project proponents to provide us with clean drinking water and build health and educational facilities so that our areas could also come up at par with other parts of the city.”
Dr. Ansar Parvez, Adviser Nuclear Projects, National Command Authority (NCA), addressed to the public hearing and vanquished all hunches and concerns orbiting around radiation with his rich experience of 30 years in nuclear system. He patiently and descriptively answered to all questions from the audience which was appreciated by the participants. Dr. Ansar Parvez also responded to that NGO owner and referred her statistical record that showed no casualty in 45 years of setting up of KANUPP.
He quoted comparative examples from world for better understanding of audience. He said that the radiation from the KANUPP was nearly one-tenth of a single mSv while the radiation in Kerala in India and in an Iranian city was 35 mSv and 260 mSv respectively. On the other hand, the intake of radiation through a CT Scan and Radiology was 30 mSv and 2 mSv, respectively. In just a single trip from Karachi to Washington DC by air would expose the radiation into human body by 260 mSv, which was even higher than the radiation obtained after living beside the wall of KANUPP for constant 20 years.
He said in Chernobyl nuclear tragedy all those who lost their lives in the mishap were fire fighters and not a single casualty of civilian was reported while only 2 were reported dead in the Fukushima nuclear accident that were flounced by tsunami.
He said that in order to fulfill country’s energy needs, the entire gas reserves of the country, if consumed only for power generation could only serve country’s need for energy for only 17 1000 MW power plants while all the oil reserves of the country, were enough for only one plant. However, the two nuclear power plants were the only source of cost effective energy for a country like Pakistan.
Earlier, SEPA Director General Naeem Ahmed Mughal addressed in inaugural session highlighting the audience of the purpose, scope, and importance of the meeting.
PAEC representative was also called in by him for a detailed presentation on K-2, K-3 N-power plants. During the public hearing on the 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 satisfactory responses.
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