Applications of Nuclear Science & Technology in Pakistan
National Energy Conference 2012
Two Day National Conference titled “Applications of Nuclear Science and Technology in Pakistan” Organized by South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) was held from 12th-13th July 2012 at Islamabad Serena Hotel.
Economic growth and industrialization in a globalized world today is inextricably linked to the continuous availability, access, diversity and modernization of energy resources. Ensuring a secure and safe supply of energy, both from domestic and foreign sources, constitutes a core foreign policy pillar of both emerging and established global powers today.
Energy security establishes a frame work which links the issues regarding energy supplies with foreign and national security policy. This link is all the more relevant and provides the requisite flexibility for a state to manage both the crisis and opportunities in this regard. Placing the formulation of energy policy in security domain comes with the benefit of establishing linkage between economic development and national survival.
Pakistan is facing an acute crisis of energy and consequently adverse economic situation. The energy crisis is effecting cross spectrum dimensions of society and economy. The crisis have resulted in a number of substantive protests, some of them being violent, in the back drop of power shortages, limited availability of transport fuel such as compressed natural gas and petrol and price hikes.
The industrial sector is also struggling to meet its production demands and improving the consumer output required to sustain a minimum level of sustainability. Energy crisis has slowed the industrial output and resultantly the already limited manufacturing base. Moreover, the energy crunch has also put restraint on Pakistan’s economy to compete globally in an era of increasing globalization.
In an environment of bleak global economic outlook in the after math of prevailing financial crisis, the problem is compounded given the lack of competitiveness. The much touted Pakistani narrative of “market access” is exhausted by the fact that the energy crunch has limited Pakistan’s capacity to compete with emerging and established economies. So market access will not bring desired output unless the domestic economic front is strengthened in Pakistan.
There also exists an international dimension to Pakistan’s energy crunch.Pakistanis subjected to international diplomatic and political pressure, by the select few, over its efforts of diversification of its energy imports. The case in point isIran–Pakistangas pipeline (IP). International sanctions on Iran and subsequent diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to be a process of Iranian containment have exacerbated the energy crisis and increased the uncertainty of its economic future.
Second example is the transfer of civil nuclear technology toIndia, by the powerful few, circumventing the established international norms of nuclear non proliferation. The same access is not allowed to Pakistan in the global nuclear energy market which leavesPakistanwith very few options to turn around the energy crisis.
In the light of broader challenges, however, there exists opportunities that has the capacity to alter the economic situation of the country in a short period of time. These opportunities exists in a form of immense natural resources of energy such as coal, gas, oil, wind, solar and nuclear in Pakistan. Secondly, the strategic minerals required to build an indigenous industrial manufacturing base are also present in sufficient amounts.
According to credible reports, Pakistan posses 28 trillion cubic feet proved reserves of natural gas, 185 billion tons of coal which are equivalent to combined oil equivalent of Saudi Arabia and Iran, approx 46,000 MW identified potential in hydro electricity generation, approx 50,000MW of power generation by the Wind corridor, offshore oil sources within Pakistan’s maritime domain, solar energy and a modest nuclear energy setup.
On the external level,Pakistanis situated in a geography that not only makes it a potential energy exporter but also a trade and energy corridor for South and Central Asia. Due to this advantage,Pakistan can maneuver itself in a way that significantly increases its bargaining power in the region and beyond.
Above all, the demographic factor is strength forPakistanwhich can significantly be used for tapping and optimizing the energy resources under an alternate economic thought.
It is high time for Pakistan to develop a concrete road map for a secure energy vision for future. The vision should broadly aim at developing indigenous scientific and industrial capacities for exploring domestic energy reserves. International cooperation in this regard will pace up the process of achieving diverse industrial expertise in the country.
Pakistan’s nuclear programme dates back from 1956 when the Pakistan Atomic Energy Council was established by the Government of Pakistan to harness nuclear energy for the benefit of its nationals and for the technological and socioeconomic progress of the country. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was established in 1965 for promotion of the use of nuclear energy. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Safety and Licensing Division (NSLD) within PAEC were entrusted with the responsibility to ensure nuclear safety and radiation protection measures for PAEC establishments. Later on the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority was established in 2001 to regulate the safe use of nuclear energy in Pakistan.
Over the last five decades Pakistani scientists and engineers have implemented Pakistan’s nuclear programme quite successfully, in many diverse areas, including but not limited to nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle, application of nuclear energy in medical, agriculture, industrial and R&D sectors, and human resource development. The major goal of this conference is to inform technical experts, media and other including international audiences, about the achievements by Pakistani scientists and engineers in the use of peaceful energy in Pakistan.
Furthermore Nuclear energy is imperative for sustainable future of a developing nation. It ensures energy security for a nation’s progressive economic future. Also Nuclear power is a clean source of energy. It does not contribute to global warming as there are no carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and it does not produce any kind of pollution, unlike other sources. In addition Nuclear power plants have the capacity to generate far more electricity than coal, wind or solar plants.
This has led SASSI to organize a conference on this issue of extreme national importance. The conference aims to serve as a platform for integrating various stake holders such as government, industrial representatives, scientific industry, media and international experts to chalk out strategies consistent with domestic realties to not only solve the present energy crisis but developing a larger frame work of energy security to ensure a secure energy future for Pakistan.
Dr. Maria Sultan, Director General, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)
Dr. Ansar Parvez, Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Mr. Rehman Malik, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Affairs
|SESSION-II CONCEPT EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT|
Chair: Mr. Shahid Sattar, Member Energy, Planning Commission
Dr. Javed R. Laghari, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC)
Nuclear Energy and Non-Proliferation Regime: Pakistan’s Perspective
Mr. Khalid Banuri, Director General, Arms Control & Disarmament Affairs (ACDA), Strategic Plans Division (SPD)
|SESSION III NUCLEAR ENERGY|
Chair: Engr. Pervaiz Butt, Former Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Mr. Saeed Alam Siddiqui, Member (Power), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Dr. Muhammad Aslam, Rector, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS)
Mr. Muhammad Naeem, Member Fuel Cycle, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Advisor on Non-Proliferation, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)/ Associate Professor Department of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University
|SESSION-IV NUCLEAR SAFETY STRUCTURES & PROCESSES|
Chair: Mr. Jamshed Azim Hashmi, Former Chairman, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority
Mr. Mohammad Anwar Habib, Chairman, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)
Mr. Zaheer Ayub Baig, Acting Director General (Corporate), Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)
Mr. Muhammad Ayub, Project Director, School for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SNRS), Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)
Mr. Abdul Shakoor, Principal Scientific Officer, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)
|SESSION V SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS & GLOBAL TRENDS|
Chair: Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Dean FCS, National Defence University (NDU)
Dr. Badar Suleman, Member Science, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Mr. Waqar Murtaza Butt, Member (Engineering), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
|SESSION VI GLOBAL TRENDS & NANO TECHNOOGY|
Chair: Lt Gen Salahuddin Satti, Ex-Chief of General Staff (CGS) and Ex-Commander X Corps
Dr. Syed Tajammul Hussain, Director, Nano Science & Catalysis Department (NSCD), National Center for Physics (NCP)
Dr. Ahmed Shuja Syed, Member-Experts Group, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)/ Vice President, Centre for Emerging Sciences ,Engineering & Technology (CESET), Islamabad
|SESSION-VII APPLICATIONS OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY & PAKISTAN’S NUCLEAR FUTURE|
Chair: Dr. Imtiaz Husain Bukhari
The International Nuclear Politics and Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme
Mr. Munawar Saeed Bhatti, Additional Secretary (UN&EC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
Dr. Muhammad Faheem, Head (Oncology), NORI, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Dr. Nayyer Iqbal, Director (Agriculture & Biosciences), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Dr. Maria Sultan, Director General, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)
|SESSION VIII CONCLUDING SESSION|
Chair: Lieutenant General Hamid Khan, Former President, National Defence University (NDU)
Dr. Ehsan Ullah Khan, Director Research & Graduate Affairs, Centre for Emerging Science, Engineering & Technology (CESET), Islamabad
Dr. Syed Arif Ahmad, Chief Scientist, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)