ACCORDING to President of China National Nuclear Corp, his country has set an ambitious target of building around 30 nuclear power plants in countries along the One Belt and One Road initiative by 2030. Around 70 countries in total are already planning or developing their own nuclear power projects and it is estimated 130 more nuclear power units will have been built by 2020.
The world will need greatly increased energy supply in the next 15 years, especially cleanly-generated electricity. Electricity demand is increasing much more rapidly than overall energy use and is likely to almost double by 2030. Though there is also focus on solar and wind power but at the existing technological level exploitation of these resources at the optimal level is not possible. Oil prices are currently down but the phenomenon is not going to persist for long and it is understood many countries cannot sustain oil-based power plants because of higher costs involved in their operation. It is because of this and also due to environmental consideration that many countries of the world are now focusing more on nuclear power plants and these also include even oil producing countries and that the countries like Russia, South Korea, Japan and the United States are all exploring the global nuclear market aggressively. Presently, there are 437 operative nuclear power plants in ten countries of the world whereas 70 reactors are under construction, 183 are planned and 311 are proposed in different states. In this backdrop, it is encouraging that in Pakistan too there is realization to take advantage of this clean and dependable source of energy. Apart from plants at Chashma and KANUPP, two major power plants K-2 and K-3 are being constructed in Karachi and in all the PAEC has proposed to add over eight thousand megawatts of nuclear energy to the national grid by 2030. We hope the PAEC would look into a proposal once given by famous nuclear scientist Dr.A Q Khan to have small and independent nuclear power plants for every district or population centre.