Pakistan’s nuclear facilities safer than Japan: PNRA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan nuclear facilities are far safer than many countries including Japan and any unfortunate disaster in the country could not cause any nuclear accident.

Spokesman for Pakistan Nuclear Regulation Authority (PNRA) Zaheer Ayub Baig said this during a conference on ‘Japan’s nuclear crises and its ramification’ organized by Strategic Technology Resources (STR) here on Saturday at a local hotel.

He said that Pakistan nuclear facilities have non-radioactive steam system while in Japan the nuclear reactors hit by tsunami had radio active steam system.

“The technology with Japan is about 40 years old and they use light water cooling system but Pakistan is using heavy waters in its nuclear reactors,” he said.

He said that a very sophisticated technology with double containments is used in Pakistani reactors.

“We never establish a nuclear facility in hurry but after thorough study. Take example of Chashma, which is the most studied area in the world as several studies by local and foreign experts, were conducted before establishing a nuclear plant there. The seismic activities were also studied,” Baig said.

For licensee the authority has very strict rules and onsite as well as offsite exercises are conducted from time to time.

On this occasion, STR Chief Executive Officer Shereen Mazari said that Pakistani reactors like KANUPP is able to structurally cope with .23G but in Japan the reactor factor in .45G.

The Tsunami that proved lethal-moving at 500 km per hour and 20 meter high that simply destroyed the back up systems in Japan. “In Pakistan no other reactor can face tsunami but the only exception is KAUPP. But it is located in height and therefore safer.”

To a question she said that incidentally there are 20 radiation monitoring centers in Pakistan. But so far nothing unusual has been noticed in the country, Mazari added.

She praised the safety system in case of any nuclear emergency in Pakistan, however, pointed out that there is no coordinated exercises for protection saying that NDMA should be involved in the drills.

She also stressed need for enhancing nuclear related knowledge among the masses.

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