“Outcry and Fear as Pakistan Builds New Nuclear Reactors in Dangerous Karachi”
The Washington Post, March 5, 2015
“On the edge of Karachi, on an earthquake-prone seafront vulnerable to tsunamis and not far from where al-Qaeda militants nearly hijacked a Pakistan navy vessel last fall, China is supplying two large nuclear reactors for energy-starved Pakistan. The new plants, utilizing a cutting-edge design not yet in use anywhere in the world, will each provide 1,100 megawatts to Pakistan’s national energy grid. The reactors are being built next to a much smaller 1970s-era reactor on a popular beach where fishermen still build wooden boats by hand. But the new ACP-1000 reactors will also stand less than 20 miles from downtown Karachi, a dense and rapidly growing metropolis of about 20 million residents. … China developed the ACP-1000 reactor, which each costs about $5 billion to build, after studying and refining the design of a reactor that France built in China in the 1980s. The China National Nuclear Corp. is now supplying the ACP-1000 reactor to Pakistan, despite an international ban on the transfer of nuclear technology to Pakistan because of the country’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. … Karachi, whose population has doubled in just the past two decades, includes vast, packed slums, as well as districts under the thumb of criminal gangs and Islamic militants. And with more than 2.7 million registered cars, buses, rickshaws and motorcycles, it can take hours to cross the city.”
Quickie analysis: Chinese nuclear technology that has never been used before 20 miles away from one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the world. Who thought this was a good idea?