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Nuclear Security ‘A National Responsibility’

PAEC Chief :  Muhammad Naeem

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Muhammad Naeem has said that Pakistan considers nuclear security a national responsibility and accords it the highest priority in its national construct.

Addressing the 61st Annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday, he said that Pakistan had established a purpose-raised standalone, specially trained, and equipped, nuclear security force with land, air and seaborne component. Naeem said that Pakistan’s commitment to ensure transparent and safe operation of nuclear facilities was endorsed with the fact that it set up Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), in 2001 as an autonomous body endowed with complete independence from the operators with its regulations based on the IAEA safety standards, the PAEC chairman said.

Moreover, Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security (PCENS), he said had been fully operationalised and the PCENS and the IAEA collaboration had also increased over the years.The National Institute of Safety and Security (NISAS) and the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), the PAEC chief said were also rendering valuable contributions in training and education in various related disciplines at both national and international levels.“We are committed to utilise maximum benefits from the peaceful applications of nuclear energy. We now have numerous nuclear faculties for exploiting beneficial aspects in the diverse areas of energy, health, agriculture, hydrology, industry environment and basic sciences,” Naeem said.

The PAEC chairman further said that Pakistan had always enjoyed a very productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the IAEA to harness the vast potential of nuclear technology — the most significant of which for Pakistan was nuclear power.After running the KANUPP for over four and a half decades, we have this year connected our fourth and fifth power plants (Chashma-III and IV) to the national grid, he said, adding that civil constructions of two other large nuclear power plants of 1,100 MWe, each near Karachi were proceeding on schedule.

“Pakistan is committed to keep all its nuclear power facilities under [the] IAEA safeguards,” the PAEC chief said, adding that Pakistan looked forward to the IAEA’s support for gaining equitable and non-discriminatory access to civil nuclear cooperation to meet its energy needs.“Due to acute electric power shortage in the country we have started looking at nuclear power as a viable option. In this era of climate change, with global warming due to escalating generation of greenhouse gases, nuclear power is a promising option for countries which cannot afford renewables,” Naeem said.

Pakistan ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 11th November 2016 and we are committed to address our energy needs, while remaining cognisant of the threat of global warming, he said.Naeem thanked the IAEA for its technical support and cooperation and congratulated the newly-elected president, vice presidents and chairman of Committee of the Whole on their selection, assuring them full support and cooperation of his delegation.He also extended felicitations to the IAEA Director-General, Yukiya Amano, on re-appointment for another term.

‘Courtesy The Nation’



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