A three day seminar on the topic “Nuclear Safety and Security Challenges of the 21st Century” was held from 21st to 23rd April 2011, with the collaboration of IAEA and PNRA (Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority).
This seminar was held in the context of nuclear safety threat emerged due to massive earthquake in Japan causing damage to Fukushima Nuclear plant. Furthermore the anniversary of Chernobyl disaster also provided a security context for the seminar.
Dennis Flory, the deputy director general of IAEA, and head of the department of nuclear safety and security IAEA, praised Pakistan for the serious contributions towards addressing the security issue. DDG also praised Pakistan’s contribution of $1.1 million towards the IAEA fund making Pakistan one of the ten largest contributors.
Pakistan has sent around 200 scientists for safety training. Citing Pakistan as an example of preparedness to deal with nuclear emergencies, the DDG asked for strengthening commitment towards nuclear safety cooperation.
Dr. Ansar Parvez, the Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said that in the context of Fukushima incident, Pakistan is working to reassess emergency and security preparedness while maintaining the regulatory security requirements.
Mohammad Anwar Habib, Chairman (PNRA), informed the participant about how PNRA fulfills its mandate for outlining and monitoring the compliance with security and safety standards. The Chairman PNRA also stressed on increasing international cooperation for dealing with the newly emerging challenges.
Unlike the Western world, private initiatives in nuclear plant installation are not in place in Pakistan. So, it is may be relatively easy for PNRA to regulate the licensees on the issues of plant security and safety. Recently Pakistan government has also started considering a plan to deal with the Tsunami threat on the Arabian Sea coast.
The seminar did not address the proliferation issue .