Pakistan to enhance role of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes: FM

BRUSSELS, Mar 21(Alliance News): Minister for Foreign Affairs Ishaq Dar Thursday said Pakistan will remain a steadfast partner of the international community and the IAEA in further enhancing role of nuclear technology for energy and other peaceful purposes.

Speaking at the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels, he said the Summit was taking place in times of rising energy demands and associated supply-side challenges triggered by wars, contestations and climate change concerns.

Energy security stands high on global priorities — for both developing and developed world, he said adding, “We need clean and cost effective energy.”

With immense power density, negligible carbon footprints and no Greenhouse emissions, nuclear energy offers a viable solution for the future, he said adding, “We endorsed nuclear energy as one of the low-emission technologies in the recent COP-28.”

The minister said it was gratifying that technology innovations continue to make nuclear energy safer and more cost-effective.

“We must continue our focus on safety, waste management, and proliferation. States must also continue to ensure focus on nuclear safety and security, waste management and compliance with non-proliferation obligations.”

Small modular reactors hold the promise of bringing nuclear power to remote or underserved communities, providing access to clean and affordable energy where it is needed most, he added.

He said Pakistan had 100 reactor-years experience of safely operating nuclear power plants.

“We started construction of first nuclear power plant in Karachi in the early sixties (1960s). Presently, Pakistan has six operating nuclear power plants generating 3,530 MW of electricity. Nuclear energy constitutes around 8% of our installed electric generation capacity.

“Given rising domestic energy demands and climate vulnerabilities, nuclear energy is being prioritized in both our National Electricity Policy and National Climate Change Policy.
The installed nuclear energy capacity in the country has avoided more than 100 Million tons of CO2 emissions so far. Pakistan has fully trained human resource capable to support nuclear power infrastructure,” he continued.

The minister said, “Our robust regulatory infrastructure ensures comprehensive safety and security of national nuclear installations and materials across all domains. Pakistan also stands ready to share its experience and expertise in peaceful uses of nuclear technology with the world.”

“We value our partnership with IAEA, which is not limited to energy only.”

“We have 3 IAEA collaborating centers for nuclear safety and security, food and agriculture and Applications of Innovative Nuclear Technologies,” he remarked.

He said, “We wish to further enhance our cooperation on initiatives of DG IAEA including ‘Atoms4NetZero’, ‘Atoms4Food’, ‘Rays of Hope’, ‘Zodiac’, ‘NUTEC Plastics’ and ‘Marie Curie fellowships’.”

He said, for further development of nuclear energy, he would like to emphasize three points:
“One, access to technology, provision of nuclear power reactors, nuclear fuel and other associated infrastructure to the developing countries in accordance with respective Safeguard obligations.”

“Two, financing nuclear power projects.
Financing for nuclear energy, through IFIs and multilateral development funds, need to be catalyzed,” he added.
“Three, increasing IAEA technical cooperation fund. IAEA’s capacity for technical assistance in peaceful uses of nuclear energy may be facilitated through either a dedicated funding stream or through enhanced allocations to existing technical cooperation fund,” he concluded.