How many nuclear power plants does Pakistan have. How worried does India have to be about Pak nuclear power? Who is a threat to us and why?

Who’s In Control and How Scared Do We Need to Be?nuclear power pakistan Who’s In Control and How Scared Do We Need to Be?

  1. As of 2012, Pakistan had 3 licenced commercial nuclear power plants which are controlled by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). The country has plans to construct as many as 32 nuclear plants by 2050. The locations of the three plants are Chasma, Punjab Province, Paradise Point, Karachi, in the Sindh Province and Muzaffargarh, Punjab. The professed goal of the PAEC is to produce 8800 megawatts of electricity by 2030.
  2. But as Indians there are several reasons to be very suspicious of any nuclear activity from Pakistan. Pak nuclear power plants are cause for worry not only because our belligerent neighbour has the habit of testing bombs as soon as we have completed testing ours, but because vast swathes of this country are controlled by armed warlords, jihadis and other groups outside the purview or control of the Pakistani government. And then we have to worry about our other neighbour, China and their vested interest in keeping Pakistan nuclear capable.
  3. The country’s largest nuclear power plant was launched about this time last year. Pakistan’s biggest atomic power plant was initiated in furtherance of making nuclear energy the largest energy source in the country. The plant is situated on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 km west of Karachi.
  4. A fourth nuclear power plant in Pakistan is located in the Khushab nuclear complex that produces plutonium for the country’s nuclear weapons programme. This plant, situated about 200 km from Islamabad is of special worry since it is geared towards producing miniaturised plutonium-based nuclear weapons. Further cause for worry is the charge from the Institute for Science and International Security that the reactors in Khushab are “believed to have depended on illicit procurements”. (Source – NDTV)
  5. In the past, the United States has expressed concern about terrorists gaining access to nuclear weapons in Pakistan. Obviously, seeing the inimical position that currently and recurrently exists between India and Pak, this apprehension is even more immediate for us for reasons of history and proximity. The “links between some retired military and intelligence officials and nuclear scientists to Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists” are also significant cause for concern. (Source)
  6. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former investigator with the CIA has expressed the concern that, “a greater possibility of a nuclear meltdown in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world. According to him, the (Pakistan) region has more violent extremists than any other. He also expressed the view that the “country is unstable, and its arsenal of nuclear weapons is expanding.” (Source – BBC)
  7. And then there is the Chinese hand in all this. We know that China overtly and covertly guides, funds, and abets Pak’s nuclear capabilities. When we read headlines that read “China Gifts Pak Mega Nuclear Power Plants” this is cause for concern not just for our government but for each citizen of the county. Apparently, each “giant power reactor can generate enough waste for up to 40 bombs each year” and the Pak army is said to be working on the Strike First doctrine which envisages Indian being rendered incapable of retaliation.
  8. While the possibility of terrorists getting a hold of nuclear energy in Pakistan has been pooh-poohed by many commentators, the type of control that the Chinese have over the neighbourhood nuclear programme is far more worrisome. Chinese motives are distinctly suspect and the furthering of their own agenda’s via Pakistan is a very real possibility.

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