The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Complex nuclear relationship between Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran

Pakistan Has Complicated Nuclear Relationship With Saudi Arabia, Iran VOA,  Ayesha Tanzeem  April 07, 2015 ISLAMABAD—

Iran’s foreign minister visits Pakistan Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Yemen, which many see as a fight for influence between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran also has recently reached a framework nuclear agreement with six world powers to possibly curb the weapons potential of its nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia, in the past, has reportedly sought to form its own nuclear alliances to counter a perceived Iranian threat. A member of the Saudi royal family and the kingdom’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, warned a few months ago that the kingdom would seek the same nuclear capabilities that Tehran is allowed to maintain under any deal.

In this regard, Pakistan’s relationship with the kingdom is unusual.

On one hand, it has sold nuclear secrets to Iran in the past through a network run by former chief Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. The network also sold nuclear technology or know-how to Libya and North Korea.

On the other, it has faced allegations of promising Saudi Arabia a nuclear umbrella against Iran.

‘Unacknowledged nuclear partnership’…….

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Iran, Pakistan, politics international, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Pakistan Climate Change Minister calls for tapping massive clean energy potential

Mushahid Ullah Khan calls for tapping massive clean energy potential, Business Recorder, Sunday, 29 March 2015 SLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that renewable energy, which is clean and environment-friendly, is future of Pakistan.

“Pakistan is abundantly replete with the renewable energy sources, which can help the country cope with deepening energy crises and pave the way for achieving sustainable development goals,” the minister underlined.

Earth-hour-1In a press statement issued here on Sunday in the context of the Earth Hour event observed across the world including Pakistan, he explained that renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides,waves and geothermal heat.

Highlighting the importance of marking the Earth Hour, the minister Mushahid Ullah Khan said that the global Earth Hour event, in fact, calls for the global climate action by investing in renewable energy technologies to free the world including Pakistan of reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation, which are unclean, unreliable and not environment-friendly………

“Above all, harnessing the sun’s power is deemed to be an attractive alternative. For, it is a renewable resource, which leads no pollution. In contrast to conventional fuels, its use requires no need for refining, transporting and conveying fuels and power over long distances,” the minister said.

March 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Pakistan | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Naval Arms Race between India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan Locked in a Nuclear Naval Arms Race A new report provides a useful summary of the naval nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean. The Diplomat By Franz-Stefan Gady March 28, 2015 A while back, I reported on the murky detailssurrounding Pakistan’s sea-based nuclear deterrent. Much of it remains a mystery, including its future submarine force.

Conversely, the Indian Navy still does not have a capable ballistic missile with which to arm the INS Arihant – New Delhi’s only ballistic missile submarine (which only began sea trials in December). India’s submarine fleet is also experiencing difficulties in maintaining its readiness rate, which has dropped below 40 percent.

However, both India and Pakistan are set to continue to develop their naval nuclear forces, as a new report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace points out. Yet, this should not automatically be a cause for alarm, Iskander Rehman, the author of a newly released Carnegie policy paper, argues.

“By further institutionalizing relations between their navies and by insisting on stronger transparency with regard to naval nuclear developments, both countries may succeed in adding a greater degree of stability to what otherwise promises to be a dangerously volatile maritime environment,” he notes.

Rehman highlights a few other interesting points about the naval nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean:

  • India’s pursuit of a sea-based nuclear strike force is the next logical step in its quest for an assured retaliatory capability.
  • To enjoy an effective sea-based deterrent vis-à-vis China, India’s other prospective nuclear adversary, New Delhi has to develop larger SSBNs with greater missile carriage capacity and more powerful nuclear reactors.
  • Pakistan’s naval nuclear ambitions are fueled primarily by the sense of a growing conventional, rather than strategic, imbalance between New Delhi and Islamabad.
  • By dispersing low-yield nuclear weapons across a variety of naval platforms, Islamabad aims to acquire escalation dominance and greater strategic depth and to reduce the incentives for a preemptive strike on its nuclear assets.

Interestingly, Rehman also underlines that, “the submarine-based leg of India’s nuclear triad will have a major impact on the nation’s existing command-and-control arrangements.”…….

March 28, 2015 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Security risks in Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons programme

Pakistan’s Nuclear programme prone to security risks: US Report By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau | 21 Mar, 2015 NEW DELHI: A report on Pakistan’s tactical nuclear programme by a prominent Washington-based think tank raises questions on the country’s ability to secure warheads even in peacetime, concluding that the introduction of mini nuclear weapons in the subcontinent has substantially increased the risk of a confrontation with India getting out of hand.

The report comes even as Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division (SPD) that oversees its nuclear programme has admitted to having fired several several people with “negative tendencies”. Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper has quoted Brig Tahir Raza Naqvi as saying that those sacked were “incorrigible” and could have affected national security. The US report titled ‘Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Operational Myths and Realities’ has, however, raised the larger question of the implication of battlefield nuclear weapons in the subcontinent. Unlike strategic warheads that are capable of obliterating a large landmass, tactical nuclear weapons like the Nasr missile that Pakistan has introduced are aimed as battlefield weapons directed against troops or armoured formations. …….

March 21, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Pakistan earthquake prone, non signatory to NPT -but China is building nuclear reactors there

Buy-China-nukes-1flag-pakistanChina Builds Nuclear Reactors in Earthquake-Prone Pakistan by Nick Cunningham Oil e, 10 March 2015 

China has decided to defy international norms and build new nuclear reactors in Pakistan.

While the U.S. and Europe see stagnant growth for commercial nuclear power, the same is not true in Asia. China is not only building nuclear reactors at home, but it is exporting its technology abroad. Of particular concern is its construction of nuclear reactors in Pakistan. China helped build two reactors at Chashma, which came online in 2000 and 2011 respectively. More recently, it has decided to double the size of the Chashma power plant, with two additional reactors under construction. And it is also constructing a new nuclear power plant near Karachi, using China’s next generation ACP-1000 design.

But China’s plans in Pakistan are facing global criticism.

The problem is that Pakistan is not a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), which should disqualify it for any international help in building nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a coalition of nuclear technology exporting countries who have banded together to create guidelines and norms around the sale of nuclear technology in order to ensure its safe use while guarding against the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities. One of the core tenets of the NSG is to not trade nuclear technology to countries that have not signed up to the NPT. Pakistan is one of the world’s four remaining holdouts to the NPT (the other three are India, Israel, and South Sudan).

That is why China’s decision to build nuclear reactors in Pakistan has received criticism. As a member of the NSG, China is defying the guidelines on nuclear trade. China says that its promise to Pakistan predates its 2004 accession to the suppliers group……..

March 11, 2015 Posted by | China, Pakistan, safety | 2 Comments

Nuclear power nightmare unfolding in Karachi?

exclamation-Smflag-pakistanOutcry and fear as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors in dangerous Karachi WP, By Tim Craig March 5 KARACHI, Pakistan — World leaders have fretted for years that terrorists may try to steal one of Pakistan’s nuclear bombs and detonate it in a foreign country. But some Karachi residents say the real nuclear nightmare is unfolding here in Pakistan’s largest and most volatile city. Continue reading

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, safety | Leave a comment

India-Pakistan tensions – how easily a terror attack could trigger nuclear war

text-relevantMajor terror attack against India could trigger nuclear war: experts PTI | February 26, 2015Washington: Pakistan may use nuclear weapons against India if the latter goes for a large scale military assault against it in retaliation for a major terror attack emanating from across the border, two top American experts have warned US lawmakers.

Given the presence of a strong government in New Delhi and the pressure on it from Indian citizens in the event of a repeat of 26/11 type terror attack, the ties between the two neighbours have greater danger of escalating towards a devastating nuclear warfare, in particular from Pakistan.

Such a dangerous scenario can only be avoided by the US working with Islamabad to ensure that there is no further large scale terror attack on India emanating from Pakistan, two top American experts. George Perkovich and Ashley Tellis, told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committe and Sub committee on Strategic Forces during a hearing yesterday. Continue reading

February 27, 2015 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear projects between China and Pakistan – a weapons proliferation worry

China, Pakistan, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Recent evidence regarding China’s involvement in Pakistan’s nuclear program should provoke international scrutiny. The Diplomat By Rohan Joshi February 16, 2015 China’s confirmation that it is involved in at least six nuclear power projects in Pakistan underscores long-standing concerns over both the manner in which both China and Pakistan have gone about engaging in nuclear commerce and the lack of transparency around China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation in general. The guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 48-nation body that regulates the export of civilian nuclear technology, prohibit the export of such technology to states, like Pakistan, that have not adopted full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Yet over the last decade, China has accelerated nuclear commerce with Pakistan while contending that its actions are in compliance with NSG guidelines, an argument that is not entirely convincing.

Today, China is not only a violator of global nuclear non-proliferation norms, but also presents the most convincing evidence of the non-proliferation regime’s ineffectiveness. The pattern of its behavior on the nuclear front as it relates to Pakistan goes well beyond the scope of what may be construed as the state’s legitimate ambition to be a leader in the supply of civilian nuclear technology…….

February 18, 2015 Posted by | China, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Renewable energy a more practical option than nuclear, for Pakistan

renewables-not-nukesflag-pakistanGenerating energy from alternative resources more feasible than nuclear plants: speakers, Pakistan Today, 1 Feb 2015  Physicists, architects, engineers, economists and civil society activists on Sunday emphasized the need to adopt alternative energy sources like solar and wind instead of nuclear power plants for generation of electricity in Pakistan as it is not cheaper as claimed by the Atomic Energy Commission of Pakistan.

Instead of providing nuclear reactors, China should be asked to provide money for power generation through solar and wind, said the experts while speaking at a workshop on ‘proposed karachi nuclear power plants: preparing for the environmental impact assessment and public hearing’ jointly organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) and the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) at a local hotel.

“The citizens of Karachi should take part in a large number in the expected public hearing for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the government after the orders by Sindh High Court,” said Dr AH Nayyar, Professor of Physics at Quaid-e-AzamUniversityIslamabad. It is for the first time that an EIA and public hearing is being held for a nuclear power plant.

They stressed the need to sensitise the local communities especially fishermen about dangers of radiations which may be great threat to their lives.

Dr Nayyar said the present government was setting up two nuclear power plants, K2 and K3, along Karachi coast without acquiring the mandatory EIA report. The SHC order has asked the government to arrange a public hearing for the EIA. But for that the EIA document should be made available for the general public much before the actual hearing so they can study and understand.

He pointed out that some concerned citizens had gone to the court against the nuclear power plants and during the hearing, the PAEC had confessed that earlier it had done the EIA process in a “wrong way,” without following the legal process. It had acquired the EIA from Sindh Environmental Protection Agency without holding public hearing……………….

February 2, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, politics | Leave a comment

Civil Society in Pakistan challenges government, questioning nuclear power plans

flag-pakistanAlternative energy: Civil activists prepare for public hearing on nuclear power plants, Express Tribune, By Our Correspondent February 1, 2015 KARACHI:  Despite the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s (PAEC) claims that nuclear power is the ‘most cost efficient’ energy source for the developing country, civil society activists want it to be replaced with alternative sources of energy because they say the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima and Bhopal disasters are not forgotten.

In view of the PAEC’s public hearing scheduled for March, on the proposed nuclear sites near Karachi, the civil society is bracing itself to meet it fully prepared and question the power project’s significance, benefits, hazards and possible alternatives.

“It is suspected that the K-2 and K-3 Chinese-manufactured nuclear power plants are being installed here on an experimental basis,” said physicist Abdul Hameed Nayyar, speaking to a workshop on Sunday, organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler). “No such power plant is operating anywhere in the world.”

He asserted that according to international standards, a 30-kilometer-radius around nuclear plants was vulnerable. The proposed nuclear sites were too close to Karachi and put the lives of millions of people at risk, he said.

Nayyar claimed that many regulations were being neglected in conducting the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). “PAEC wrongfully obtained certificates for the nuclear plants from the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) without seeking public consent,” he said. “The SEPA was bound by law to incorporate and consider public comments into the procedure before issuing such a certificate to any industry.”

Another activist, Roland deSouza, added that in Pakistan, the institutions supposed to assess the environmental impact of growing industrialisation were very poor. “The SEPA is understaffed, incompetent and influenced by political and bureaucratic circles,” he said, adding that the prosperity of a country depended on the conservation of its environment.

He narrated stories of the DHA Cogen project and constructions near the Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine, claiming that even in those cases, the proper course of action for assessment were not followed until the civil society took the matter to court.

On the PAEC’s claim that radiations caused by the nuclear plants would not be harmful, he said, that no independent verification could be made as yet. Concluding his presentation, he questioned why we didn’t import solar energy projects from China, since it was the largest producer of this less hazardous and modern source of energy.

The nine-hour-long programme at the Regent Plaza was divided into sessions to give attendees an understanding of nuclear power projects and the significance of the forthcoming formal public hearing.

The speakers focused on the issues of how the PAEC would transport radioactive material, what measures they would take in case of a mishap and how a reactor would be decommissioned after the completion of its life cycle……….

February 2, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, politics | Leave a comment

Pakistan makes a big move towards renewable energy with feed in solar tariffs

solar-feed-inflag-pakistanPakistan to pull solar energy into national power grid – TRFN BY AAMIR SAEED REPORTING BY AAMIR SAEED; EDITING BY LAURIE GOERING Tue Jan 6, 2015  ISLAMABAD, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Amid a worsening energy crisis, Pakistan has approved the use of grid-connected solar energy, rooftop solar installations and mortgage financing for home solar panels to boost uptake of clean energy in the country.

The government has also reversed course and eliminated a 32.5 percent tax imposed on imported solar equipment in the country’s 2014-2015 budget. The reversal aims to bring down the cost of installing solar panels.

The approval of net-metering – which allows solar panel purchasers to sell power they produce to the national grid – is a major breakthrough that could spur use of solar energy and help Pakistan’s government cut power shortages in the long run, said Asjad Imtiaz Ali, chief executive officer of the Alternative EnergyDevelopment Board, a public organisation.

“The initiative will help scale up demand for solar energy acrossPakistan,” he said, “and we hope the increased demand will also result in sufficient decreases in the price of solar equipment.”

Ali said the government decided to cut newly imposed taxes on the import of solar panels following pressure from business owners, the public and media.

And the decision to allow solar generators to sell their excess generating capacity means “consumers can now install rooftop solar systems and sell the extra energy to the national grid,” he said……….

Qamar-uz-Zaman, an expert on climate change with Lead Pakistan, a non-profit organisation in Islamabad, predicted net-metering and private sector financing for solar installation would revolutionise the use of renewable energy in Pakistan, as it has done for many other developed and developing countries.

“Pakistan can cut carbon emissions to a significant extent and access international climate financing by promoting solar energy, besides overcoming its energy crisis,” he said.

January 7, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Lists of nuclear facilities exchanged between India and Pakistan

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear facilities Times of India 
PTI | Jan 1, 2015 NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan on Thursday exchanged the list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
This is the 24th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992. ……

January 2, 2015 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Pakistan court stops work on nuclear plants, on environmental grounds

judge-1flag-pakistanPakistan court stops construction work on nuclear plants  19 Oct 14, Islamabad: A court in Pakistan has restrained the government from initiating construction work on two proposed nuclear power plants unless environmental safeguards are adhered to, media reports here said. The two-judge bench at the Sindh High Court restrained the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) yesterday to carry out work at the proposed sites in the southern port city of Karachi without adhering to environmental laws.

The court directive was issued on a petition challenging the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency which approved the two plants.

The counsel of petitioner said that the reactors would be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation on a design known as ACP-1000 that has not been operational even in China.

“The ACP-1000 reactor so far exists only on paper and in computer programmes and any real life experience, tests and trials … on the ACP-1000 design will be from operating the reactors in Karachi,” the counsel added.

Karachi, one of the world’s most densely populated cities with an estimated population of about 21 million, lacked the infrastructure for mass evacuation of its inhabitants in the wake of a possible nuclear accident, he added.

Pakistan government had finalised plans for starting work on two nuclear power plants of 11,00 MW each – adjacent to the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant – with support from China. Besides, subsequent plans for two more plants – K-4 and K-5 – were also under consideration.

October 21, 2014 Posted by | Legal, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Sea-based nuclear weapons being developed by Pakistan

Pakistan developing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons: report Livemint 21 Sept 14 Pakistan to develop nuclear warheads suitable for deployment from Indian Ocean, either from warships or from its submarines, report saysIslamabad/Washington: Pakistan is developing sea-based missiles and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads to give it a “second-strike” capability if a catastrophic nuclear attack destroyed all its land-based weapons, according to a media report on Sunday. The next step of Pakistan’s strategy includes an effort to develop nuclear warheads suitable for deployment from the Indian Ocean, either from warships or from one of the country’s five diesel-powered Navy submarines, The Washington Post reported quoting Pakistani and Western analysts…….

September 22, 2014 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Two Pakistani Nuclear military offices murdered

murder-12 Linked to Pakistan nuclear program killed in attack  Fox News June 04, 2014 A suicide attacker killed two military officers linked to Pakistan’s nuclear program, along with three civilians, near the Kamra air base, not far from this capital, police told Efe.

The incident occurred in the Fateh Jang area about 10 a.m. when a vehicle belonging to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was boarded by the suicide bomber, who was on foot, after which he detonated the explosives attached to his body…….

June 5, 2014 Posted by | incidents, Pakistan | Leave a comment


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