Pak court extends stay against construction of nuclear plants

Pak court extends stay against construction of nuclear plants

A local court here has extended for another week its stay order restraining the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) from carrying out work on the two nuclear power plant projects in Karachi without adhering to environmental laws.

The Sindh High Court yesterday extended the stay after hearing the PAEC counsel who said that the project was duly approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A two-judge panel of Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Shahnawaz Tariq was hearing a petition challenging the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), which approved the two plants.

Earlier, the bench had directed the government not to start work unless they met the requirements set under Section 12 of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act, 2014.

The PAEC recently started preparing sites for the two nuclear power plants named K-2 and K-3 adjacent to the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp).

The government is also considering building two more plants K-4 and K-5 in the same locality.

PAEC counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan told the judges that France was also using the same technology and providing over 400 megawatts to its neighbouring countries.

He said the project was aimed at providing electricity to people in Karachi on a priority basis and part of the government's policy to make the electricity available in every part of the country.

The counsel said that a guideline already available to ensure life and property of the people was strictly being followed by the government.

The petition named the PAEC, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), Sepa, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pepa) and the environment and alternative energy department of Sindh as respondents.

According to the petition, the reactors had purportedly been designed and would be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation on a design known as ACP-1000, which was not operating even in China.

While Advocate Khan was still on his feet, the bench rose for the day, adjourning the matter to December 18.

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