Call to increase the share of nuclear energy in electricity production to 20pc – Journal

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the National Nuclear Energy Command Authority, Dr Ansar Parvez warned against reducing the priority of nuclear energy in the power generation mix and called for expanding its share at least 20 percent of the power generation capacity.

Dr Parvez, who previously headed the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), addressed attendees at a webinar hosted by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) titled “Pakistan’s Energy Security and the Role of nuclear technology ”.

Emphasizing the importance of nuclear power, he said that it should continue to play an important role in the production mix because it is cheap, reliable and has a higher production capacity factor.

Dr Parvez suggested increasing the share of nuclear power in the current 8pc production mix to at least 20pc.

His claim was that nuclear power plants, unlike most other sources of generation, are base plants that generate electricity at a constant rate to meet continuous demand. “Once 20% of your capacity is in secure baseload, you can build as many solar, wind and hydro plants,” he said.

Pakistan currently has an installed nuclear capacity of 2,490 MW, which would increase next year to 3,635 MW with the addition of a 1,145 MW K-3 plant. No further growth in this capacity is expected by 2030, as no further nuclear power plants are currently under construction.

He suggested that solar, wind and other renewables were prioritized in national planning because they are cheap.

Dr Parvez, stressing the importance of energy planning, said it has a direct impact on economic security, environmental security and national security.

Another expert, Dr Zafar Ali, said Pakistan attaches the utmost importance to nuclear safety and technology regulations as a national responsibility. Over the years, he said, Pakistan has established a comprehensive and effective national nuclear regulatory regime, which covers nuclear and other radioactive material and associated activities.

He said regulatory provisions while preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction should not hinder international cooperation in the peaceful uses of technology. A non-discriminatory approach to civilian nuclear cooperation, he added, will not only benefit the global non-proliferation regime, but will also help achieve the enduring goals of the United Nations.

Posted in Dawn, December 15, 2021


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