Safety of nuclear power plants: ECNEC to approve Rs 480m project for PNRA infrastructure
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to increase the capacity building of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) to meet the safety requirement of nuclear power plants.
“The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) chaired by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz will approve the most important project of Rs 480 million including the foreign exchange component (FEC) of Rs 100 million and local component of Rs 380 million for the institutional strengthening and capacity building of the PNRA,” a government official told Daily Times.
The official said a summary seeking the approval of the project had been sent to the cabinet division which would be taken up in the next ECNEC meeting.
The official said the government had approved the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (ChasNuPP-2) having a 325 Mega Watt (MW) electricity generating capacity. The government had also decided to develop a series of nuclear power plants in phases, he added. “The strategy is to achieve self-reliance in the energy sector by utilising the indigenous energy resources. By 2011, the target for an additional 4600 MW through hydel, 600 MW through coal, 900 MW through gas and 325 MW through nuclear energy has been set,” the official said.
The official said the existing nuclear power capacity was 462 MW and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was planning to commission another nuclear power generation plant in Karachi (Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2) and two more nuclear power plants in the next 15 years. “The government wants to strengthen the PNRA to ensure a safe operation of nuclear power plants,” he added.
The official said, “Though the PNRA had been set up through an ordinance in 2001, it is mostly being manned from the PAEC staff and their existing facilities are being used, but it is essential that PNRA’s staff is fully trained and is provided with the necessary equipment to discharge its responsibilities and maintain its independence and regulatory status.”
“Under the Rs 480 million project, necessary manpower will be recruited, computer system and software will be procured, consultants will be hired and training will be imparted,” the official said.
He said that a total of 75 people of various categories would be employed for the project that would be completed in 72 months by 2010.