– By Kunwer Faran, NUST Science Blog
October 21st, 2011. Dawn reports a heavy water leakage at Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) following which the plant was shut down for an indefinite period. The plant was already not in working condition since 5th of October for maintenance work and the fault occurred during maintenance. The authorities claim that this leakage didn’t prove to be much hazardous. Experts, however, believe that the plant can prove to be extremely hazardous anytime. Its lifetime got expired years ago, its boilers need an immediate replacement, and it is situated in the vicinity of three seismic lines, which have become more active after the tsunami of Japan, making the plant more dangerous. Also, this plant resides next to the biggest city of the country and residential areas are expanding towards the plant rapidly. It has been producing nothing but extreme danger and digesting our taxes for around two months now.
Consider you have a car which doesn’t work but you tow it once in a while, take it to the mechanic, throw some money on it and tow it back home. The car can also explode anytime, killing everyone around. Would you keep such a machine or sale it out in scrap and use the money in buying a new one instead? Unless you are too sympathetic for the mechanic, you will do what any sensible person would, but it seems our authorities are just too concerned for the mechanics and can’t risk the livelihood of people maintaining a useless power plant which can explode anytime.
We are a humble nation, we don’t question much. We don’t raise voice when people governing us spend millions of our taxes to fuel their private jets, create play areas for their grandchildren or get tiles installed in their bathrooms worth a few millions. We are fine with this. But risking the lives of a few generations (nuclear radiation affect generations following the one which got exposed to it) for corruption of a few million rupees is a little unacceptable. After the nuclear disaster occurred in Fukushima-Daiichi and Fukushima-Daini – Japan, United Kingdom had instituted a study to evaluate the effects of the Japanese accident on UK, which is practically on the other side of the globe, and in our case, main Karachi is in the vicinity of less than a few hundred miles of the plant. The authorities are humbly requested to resort to safer means of corruption and either upgrade or shut down the plant permanently.