PAEC asks stakeholders to visit nuclear power plant site, barring media

KARACHI: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), responding to objections taken by experts and civil society, invited them to visit the site of K2/K3 project and see how they are dealing with the matter.
In a letter sent to stakeholder organisations: Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) and Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) on Wednesday, the PAEC has sought their site visit followed by briefing about the plant by the Commision's head.
All the partner organisations arranged a dialogue on the Implication of Nuclear Power Plants in Coastal Areas and expressed concerns over the project, keeping in mind the impacts of similar projects like Japan, which had caused havoc in the entire region there after the earthquake hit the area.
The letter written by PAEC Chairman Ansar Parvez, quoted the email he received from the organisers of the seminar in the shape of recommendations. It said since the groundbreaking for the 2200MW nuclear power project near KANUPP, many kinds of views have surfaced focusing on the design, safety and environmental impact of the K2/K3 project.
"PAEC welcomes such discussions but will also seek an opportunity to ensure that all views are based on objective information about various aspects of the project. Therefore, as its chairman, I wish to invite those related to your organisations and with concerns about these issues to a participatory forum to see from up close how PAEC is handling or plans to handle the issues of safety, environment, and emergency procedures for nuclear power plants in the country including, of course, the K2/K3 plants," he said.
"When you are on site, I will be available to give a briefing on various aspects of the projects, including the steps taken in its design, construction, and operational phases to ensure the safety of people living in the surrounding area and in the city of Karachi. Features of the plant designed to protect the environment, including air, sea and land will also be highlighted," he said in the letter.
The site already has a nuclear power plant, KANUPP, which has safely operated for more than 41 years, he added.
"We would also like to share experiences from the long history of this plant that may be relevant to the new project. PAEC will ferry all the participants to the site from some central points in the city. To meet security requirements, a list of names and Pakistani NIC numbers will be required at least two days in advance. Travelling to and from the site, visits, presentations and discussions may take up to five hours," the letter said.
The PAEC chief expressed the hope that this visit will lay the basis for a continuing constructive dialogue on this issue and allow us to work together for a brighter future for the people of this area and this country.
"Since we intend this to be an honest two-way discussion with the objective of understanding each other, may I suggest that no media persons be included this time. There will be opportunities for that later," he concluded.\

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