Pakistan to produce nuclear safety equipment

Pakistan has joined a group of countries that are certified to produce `Class-I nuclear safety equipment`.

Islamabad: Pakistan can now produce "Class-I nuclear safety equipment" and manufacture spare parts for its nuclear stations under embargo conditions, a media report said.

Dawn reported that Pakistan has joined a group of countries that are certified to produce `Class-I nuclear safety equipment`, allowing it to locally manufacture spare parts for its nuclear power stations under embargo conditions and contribute towards a long-term nuclear energy programme.

The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) gave a licence to a unit of the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) Tuesday to make specialised equipment related to core nuclear islands that are linked to controlling and maintaining activities in a reactor, the media report said.

"Although it is a happy moment that Pakistan has moved one more step towards indigenisation of nuclear programme, we will ensure that quality is not compromised in haste or in achieving any production target," Engineer Anwar Habib, PNRA chairman, was quoted as saying at an event.

The licence was granted to produce Class-II and Class-III equipment after almost three years of scrutiny of working standards and ensuring that the quality of parts and equipment produced at HMC-III met international standards.

The HMC-III is a specialised workshop under the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

"Class-I deals with equipment and parts like tanks, vessels, cooling systems, steam generators, etc., at the nuclear island and any compromise over quality at this stage cannot be tolerated," said the PNRA chairman.

The PAEC has three main subsidiaries, HMC-III, the National Centre for Non-Destructive Testing and the Pakistan Welding Institute, which play a key role in the indigenous development of the nuclear programme and nuclear energy.

PAEC chairman Ansar Pervaiz said the first embargo faced was in early 1970s by Canada. It was after the commercial operation of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp).

"Not only that we have beaten those who claimed that Pakistan will not be able to maintain the pace in nuclear field but Kanupp has surpassed its designed life by 10 years now and that is the result of local development," he said.

He said: "At present we have three safe and sound operational nuclear power plants while Chashma-III and Chashma-IV will be online in 2016."