Pakistan is committed to the objective of enhancing nuclear security. It has fully been engaged with the international community to promote nuclear safety and security.
The Nuclear Security Summit process in the past four years has generated high level commitments to foster nuclear security culture. The 2014 Summit gives each participating state an opportunity to consolidate and implement the decisions it has taken in the process.
Nuclear security within a state is a national responsibility. Within that framework, the international community should pursue cooperation on nuclear security through voluntary national actions and in accordance with each state’s international obligations.
The existing international nuclear security framework covers the measures taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations as well as various conventions and initiatives. Therefore, there is no need to create new, parallel institutions or mechanisms.
The Summit process enables us to coordinate and synergize the work of the international community. In this context, we reaffirm the essential responsibility and central role of the IAEA.
National Nuclear Security Regime
Pakistan’s nuclear security regimen has five pillars:
One, a well defined, robust command and control system. The National Command Authority (NCA), the apex decision making body, works under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. It is supported by its secretariat, the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and the Strategic Forces Commands. The NCA exercises control over all aspects including policy, procurement, employment, and nuclear security. The SPD develops technical solutions, Personnel Reliability Programme (PRP), and intelligence capabilities to deal with issues related to nuclear security, non-proliferation, accidents and WMD terrorism.
Two, Pakistan’s nuclear security regime is anchored in the principle of multi-layered defense for the entire spectrum of any nuclear threat – insider, outsider or cyber threat – and is guided by the concept of five Ds – deter, detect, delay, defend, and destroy. A specially trained Special Response Force ensures the security of our nuclear assets. Besides, an integrated intelligence system exercises constant vigil to provide depth in defense. Force validation exercises are carried out regularly to revisit and upgrade our safety and security regime.
Three, a rigorous regulatory regime encompasses all matters related to nuclear safety and security, including physical protection of materials and facilities, material control and accounting, transport security, prevention of illicit trafficking, border controls, and plans to deal with possible radiological emergencies. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), an autonomous oversight body, has developed a sustainable nuclear security regulatory system with established response and recovery capabilities. It works closely with the IAEA.
Four, a comprehensive export control regime. The legislative, regulatory, administrative and enforcement measures of our export control regime are at par with the standards followed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group.
Five, international cooperation, consistent with our national policies and interests as well as international obligations.
Centre of Excellence: As part of its nuclear security programme, Pakistan has undertaken several steps to establish a Centre of Excellence, update regulations and adopt best practices.
The Center of Excellence conducts specialized courses in nuclear security, physical protection, material control and accounting, transport security and personnel reliability.
ANational Institute of Safety and Security (NISAS) has been established at PNRA for facilitating national and regional training courses on nuclear security. The Institute, a key part of the Centre of Excellence, is equipped with the state of the art laboratories for training in the nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear security and physical protection.
In 2014, the Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the IAEA, is planning to host regional training courses including course on “Security of Radioactive Sources”. Physical protection and nuclear security courses are planned as well with IAEA’s assistance.
These training facilities, associated with Pakistan’s Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security, have the potential to grow into a regional and international hub, with the support of the IAEA.
Nuclear Safety:In the past few years, Pakistan has invested heavily in nuclear safety at the plant, corporate and regulatory levels.
After the Fukushima accident, Pakistan carried out detailed assessment of its own nuclear power plants. We revisited safety parameters, emergency preparedness and response, and operators’ training protocols and procedures. The approach to ensure safety of nuclear power plants is in accordance with our national legislative system. All new authorizations now require from the licensees to implement lessons learnt from the Fukushima accident.
Pakistan has accepted IAEA’s proposal to join the Agency’s Collaborating Centers, which are designed to standardize technology, disseminate information, and facilitate research and training.
Nuclear Security Action Plan (NSAP):A robust Nuclear Security Action Plan (NSAP) is being implemented in collaboration with the IAEA to manage radioactive sources, secure orphan sources, detect radiation and prepare for emergencies. Collaboration with IAEA is ongoing for upgrading physical protection of a nuclear power plant at Karachi.
Nuclear Medical Centres:Under IAEA-Pakistan Nuclear Security Cooperation Programme, security measures at 15 Nuclear Medical Centres in public and private sector, having category-1 radioactive sources, have already been upgraded. Upgrade measures at 8 more centres are underway.
Nuclear Emergency Management System:A Nuclear Emergency Management System has been established at the national level to handle nuclear and radiological emergencies. A Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Support Centre (NURESC) and a National Radiation Emergency Coordination Center (NRECC) are available round the clock as part of emergency response mechanism. The mechanism covers the entire range of activities and is endowed with state-of-the-art equipment, mobile labs and technical guidance. Several training courses and exercises for the first responders, emergency response personnel and front line officers have been conducted for emergency preparedness.
Revision of Pakistan’s National Export List:The Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the relevant ministries and entities, revised the ‘National Export Control Lists” in 2011. The lists, classified on the basis of the European Union’s integrated system, cover the scope of export controls maintained by the NSG, Australia Group and MTCR.
Preventing Illicit Trafficking:The National Detection Architecture includes use of detection devices at several entry and exit points as well as other random check points to deter, detect and prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.
International Cooperation:Pakistan has been working with the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee. So far, we have submitted four reports to the Committee that elaborate the measures we have taken for nuclear and radiological security as well as on controls over all forms of transfer of sensitive materials and technologies. We are now working on the fifth report.
As a party to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), the Nuclear Safety Convention, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and the Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, Pakistan has been contributing to the nuclear security framework. Our consistent observance of the IAEA Code of Conduct and participation in the IAEA in the Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) have been highly useful.
Pakistan has been working with the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) in different areas, including the development of the GICNT guidelines on a nuclear detection architecture, nuclear forensics and response and mitigation. Pakistan held the position of Chairman IAEA Board of Governors for 2010-11 and became a member of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in December 2011.
Future Commitments and Aspirations:Pakistan has more than 40 years of experience in safe and secure operation of nuclear power plants under IAEA safeguards. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), a premier national institution, is leading the effort.
Safe and sustainable civil nuclear energy is essential to advancing our economic development agenda. Our Energy Security Plan includes a futuristic, self-sustaining Nuclear Power Programme 2050, to meet the existing energy shortfalls and to respond to the future requirements of a growing population and economy. In that context, we envisage generation of nuclear energy of 8,800 MWe by 2030 and 40,000 MWe by 2050. In this regard, Pakistan looks forward to the removal of barriers to equitable access to international civil nuclear cooperation.
With the experience and expertise it has gained in the areas of nuclear power generation, non-power application of nuclear technology, nuclear security and nuclear safety, under the auspices of the IAEA, Pakistan is well placed to assist interested states.
As a country with advanced nuclear fuel cycle capability, Pakistan is in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and to participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanism.
Over the years, Pakistan has streamlined and strengthened its export control regime and enhanced its engagement with multilateral export regimes. Pakistan qualifies to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other export control regimes, on a non-discriminatory basis.
26 March 2014
Last modified: November 20, 2019
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