IAEA Chief declares Pakistan’s Nuclear security as "World Class"

IAEA Chief declares Pakistan’s Nuclear security as

ISLAMABAD – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has said that Pakistan’s nuclear safety is “world-class”.

Addressing a seminar in Islamabad on Thursday, the IAEA DG said Pakistan’s capacity to establish “new nuclear power plants indicates a promising future” for nuclear energy and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the director-general, there is strong political support for new nuclear power plants in Pakistan. Lauding Pakistan’s nuclear safety, Grossi termed safety measures at nuclear plants as “world-class”.

The IAEA chief is in Pakistan on a two-day trip to discuss matters related to the Pakistan-IAEA collaboration.

During his stay, IAEA chief Grossi called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, wherein cooperation between the agency and Pakistan in several areas — health, agriculture, industry, nuclear medicine and power generation — was discussed.

During the huddles, the top officials expressed full support for various projects and programmes of the agency and “conveyed our desire to expand cooperation and support for the IAEA’s work”.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan has a mutually beneficial relationship with the IAEA that includes all areas of nuclear technology.

He stated that despite of ranking as low as 158th among carbon-emitting countries, Pakistan is amongst the countries most severely affected by climate change.

He said Pakistan has achieved great milestones in nuclear science and technology for the socio-economic uplift of the country in areas such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, development of disease-free and high-yield crop varieties and food preservation.

The minister said nuclear power provides clean and cheap energy and currently contributes to eight percent of Pakistan's energy mix with six operational nuclear power plants.In her weekly press briefing earlier in the day, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch rejected that the IAEA chief was not in the country for a “deal” over Pakistan’s nuclear programme.