Pak-China N-technology & vested lobbies propaganda

Propaganda against Pak-Chinese civil nuclear technology, in the aftermath of the Japanese tragedy, is now becoming short of obnoxious by vested lobbies.

Reuters report carried by major Pakistani newspapers, saying that China is pushing ahead with Pak N-plant with old technology, which lacks safety features is sticking to old propaganda that western capitals have used against Pakistan even before the unfortunate Japanese tsunami.

The government, so far, has kept silent over these allegations as privately it concedes that the Chinese do not feel comfortable with highlighting this cooperation in the media. Many say that they should show more confidence, as the pressure point the NSG is a “cartel” not like the NPT, which is an international treaty.

Some points that have to be kept in mind is that first, the issue about Chashma plants being outdated. “Yes, they are the 1970s Westinghouse design, but Pakistan has improved and updated these designs. For instance both Chashma I, C I and Chashma II include improvements such as hydrogen recombiners’. The C II has hydrogen recombiners of the passive type, so it does not need any power source to continue functioning in a worse case scenario. C III (340MW) is supposed to come online in 56 months from now but may do so earlier while the C IV will come online 10 months after that. The IAEA safeguards agreement (one for both the plants, which is unusual, but shows the credibility of Pakistan’s civil nuclear programme) has been signed and in fact took less than 5 minutes to get through the IAEA Board of Governors. Obviously, if modifications have already happened in the earlier two reactors, the other two will be updated also in terms of design and safety features,” confirms the Strategic Technology Resource (STR), which has taken a lead in Pakistan, in educating interested media in the area of nuclear issues.

Then again that the Chashma design is the same as the Fukushima one has also been raised. “This is totally incorrect. The Japanese reactor is a Boiling Water Reactor, which has a small containment area with pressure accumulating far more quickly within it. BWRs are primarily used in US and Japan only. The Chashma reactors are Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs)—the most common type in terms of power reactors. These have a much larger containment area and also the operations are contained in two separate structures so that a problem in one can be contained without causing an all-out emergency,” clarifies STR.

Again pressure is being put on China that they need to get the approval of the ‘cartel’. The News understands that this is not totally correct either since the NSG is a suppliers’ cartel not an international organization or Treaty. IAEA safeguards are essential, and these have been obtained for all the Chashma plants. Nor was the Indo-US nuclear deal subject to NSG waivers despite the fact that it contravenes the NPT. NSG waivers for India were on the sale of dual use nuclear technologies, which could be used for weapons production -and these came after the Indo-US deal was operationalized. There is no doubt that KANUPP is old and that is why it is not being operationalized at full capacity. However, experts point out that it has now been improved with .23G structural coping factor.

“More critical, KANUPP is located on a rock 40 feet above main sea level and protected by a rock piece jutting out to sea adjacent to its location. Also, because KANUPP was one of the early CANDU reactors its containment is very big for its size. A study was done on possible effects of a tsunami, and hence this site was chosen. The last recorded Tsunami was in 1945 off the Makran coast with waves of 4 meters-not much seismic activity in this part of the Indian Ocean,” the STR told the media last week.

Pak-China N-technology & vested lobbies propaganda.

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