This refers to our government’s relentless pursuit of increasing its civilian nuclear capabilities in Karachi. The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) at Paradise Point, is located dangerously close to 10% of Pakistan’s population. Two larger capacity plants, K-2 and K-3, are also under construction and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has not presented any kind of evacuation plan in case of an accident or radioactive spill.  

Such a scenario is not entirely implausible given the disastrous Chernobyl incident of 1986. The explosion of a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl resulted in massive contamination, numerous casualties and large-scale increase in thyroid cancer among children exposed to dangerous radioactive chemicals. Such incidents also require detailed and systematic evacuation plans, which are expensive and difficult to carry out. 

Considering the serious threats posed by nuclear technology to our environment and civilians, why are we not looking towards renewable energy solutions to address our current energy crisis? Many countries, such as Germany, Spain and Japan, have increasingly started utilising solar energy solutions to meet their growing energy needs. Why are we, as a nation, lagging behind when our country enjoys abundant sunlight and has a solar potential of 2,300,000 MW per annum? Solar plants can be set up in 2-3 months, require minimum maintenance and are environmentally friendly and less costly.  

K-2 and K-3 will cost our government around US $9 billion and pose a serious threat to the health and environment of Karachi. I urge our government authorities to seriously consider adopting renewable energy sources, such as solar power, to lead us towards a sustainable future. 

SIKANDAR ZAFAR, 

Karachi, November 2.