Karachi, Chashma N-plants safe: PAEC | Pakistan Today

Karachi, Chashma N-plants safe: PAEC

ISLAMABAD – With increasing fears of a nuclear disaster in Japan in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami, Pakistan has decided to review safety and durability of its own nuclear power plants. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) said in a statement on Tuesday that the nuclear power plants located in Karachi and Chashma were functioning safely.
The PAEC said that it was continuously monitoring the flow of events in nuclear plants in Japan in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami there. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), which is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of nuclear facilities and protecting radiation workers, the general public and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation, has decided to review safety at the nuclear power plants as a precaution, despite the fact that it is convinced the plants are safe.
“The authority has already conveyed to the power plants to look into their safeguards and a meeting of all relevant quarters is also expected soon to review them and, in case of any requirements, take all necessary steps,” said a senior official who did not wish to be named. He said that the PNRA review did not imply that the current safeguards at the power plants were unsatisfactory but that the authorities wanted to be extra careful in light of the latest situation in Japan.
Japan is facing a nuclear crisis after a series of explosions at its Fukushima power station located in Futaba town and the country’s prime minister has warned that radiation from the power plant is likely to spread. “Pakistan’s nuclear plants are regulated by the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), which is an independent body,” the statement said. “There is also a Safety Division at the PAEC headquarters which provides safety oversight. Moreover, there are several built-in features in our nuclear plants to handle accidents,” it added.
The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) had already been assessed to be safe against effects of earthquake and tsunamis, the statement said, while the two Chashma Nuclear power plants were secured against earthquakes and floods as the worst possible consequence of dam-breaks. The PAEC said that there was no cause for concern regarding the safe operation of the plants. Over the years, plant safety had also been assessed by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
“Any lessons learnt from the accidents in Japan will be implemented at our plants as well,” it said.

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