We've excellent nuclear safety and security standards: Musharraf

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Islamabad, Dec 19 (UNI) Pakistan stands as a respectable nuclear state having excellent safety and security standards at all nuclear power plants, President Pervez Musharraf has said.

After performing containment dome placement ceremony at Chashma Nuclear Plant-II, the President said, ''Pakistan's nuclear safety regulatory infrastructure is effective, functional and respected by the world bodies.'' The President, also chairman of the country's National Command Authority, said Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) should work in unison towards the cherished goal.

He applauded the PAEC and PNRA in understanding, implementing and meeting the nuclear safety and physical security requirements of the nuclear power plants in the country.

Pakistan will need 8,800 MW of electricity by 2020 and is seeking cooperation with several countries to utilise nuclear energy peacefully.

One of the two plants at Chashma is already operational with capacity to produce 350 MW of electricity while the second one will be ready soon.

''It is gratifying to note that excellent safety and security standards are being maintained at the country's existing nuclear power plants at Kanupp and Chasnupp-I,'' The News quoted him, as saying.

The 325 megawatt capacity plant, being built with Chinese collaboration and technical assistance, is likely to be completed by the end of 2010 as it is moving ahead of schedule.

The dome placement event is the most important milestone in the construction phases of a nuclear power plant.

The government had chalked out a comprehensive plan to expand power generation to meet the growing demands of the country. The PAEC had been given the task of increasing nuclear power generation in accordance with the country's energy security plan, the president added.

Besides the conventional and renewable power generation sources, nuclear technology had a major role in the power generation mix in the country, he said, adding that the world was realising the promise and potential of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and advancement in design and management had enhanced the safety of nuclear plants.

Thanking China for its collaboration and technical assistance in various development projects, including nuclear power generation, President Musharraf said his personal relations with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao had given these projects ''momentum'' and ''impetus''.

The Chashma power plant, along with numerous other development projects in the country, were a living testament to Pak-China friendship, he added.


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