China to go ahead with Pakistan's Chasma nuclear project

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Beijing, Mar 24: Unfazed by the recent crisis in Japan, China is pushing ahead with the controversial plans of expanding a Pakistan nuclear plant using the technology of 70s. And even more is that it is preparing a new reactor to start up there soon.

India and USA wary of Pakistan's dubious record of proliferating nuclear weapons technology, compounded by the volatile internal situation, had along with other countries asked China to desist from the construction of the nuclear plant in Pakistan.

The plant in question is the Chashma nuclear power plant in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Apart from all other worries, safety is a major concern, especially in the wake of the recent crisis in Japan where in the Fukushima nuclear plant is at the verge of complete meltdown after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. And the Chashma plant designs, reportedly date back to 1970s.

Despite all the worries and warnings, China remains committed to the Chashma plant. Li Hong, Secretary General of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted by Reuters as saying, "There's no doubt that China will go ahead with Chashma, because this cooperation with Pakistan has such a long history.."China will absorb lessons about nuclear safety from Japan's problems, including for Chashma."

China is unlikely to accede to international demands that it seek the Nuclear Suppliers Group's approval for the project. Li, was again quoted by the Reuters as saying, "I don't think that China will seek approval from the NSG...China considers that the new reactors were grandfathered under a previous agreement."

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