Pakistan joins nations producing Class 1 N-safety equipment
* HMC–III gets licence to manufacture specialised equipments of core nuclear island
ISLAMABAD: In a landmark achievement, Pakistan has joined the group of nations which are certified to produce ‘Class –I nuclear safety equipments’.
This capability would not only allow the country to provide locally manufactured spare parts for the existing nuclear power plants under embargo conditions but also contribute towards the long-term nuclear energy programme. In this regard, the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), on Tuesday granted licence to Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) –III, to manufacture specialised equipments related to core nuclear island that are directly related to controlling and maintaining activities in the reactor.
The HMC –III is a specialised workshop operating under the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission(PAEC). The PNRA has granted the licence after almost three years of regular scrutiny of working standards and ensuring that the quality of parts and equipments produced at HMC-III meet the international standards.
“Though it is happy moment that Pakistan has moved one more step towards indigenisation of nuclear programme but we will ensure that quality is not compromised in haste or achieving any production target,” PNRA Chairman Engineer Anwar Habib said at a ceremony held in this regard at the HMC-III, Taxila. He said that HMC-III has already achieved the certification for the nuclear safety class 2 and 3 which related to manufacture of less sensitive parts.
“Class –I deals with equipments and parts like tanks, vessels, cooling systems, steam generators, etc, at the nuclear island and any compromise over quality at this stage cannot be tolerated,” the PNRA chairman said. He said that the regulator had granted permission to produce the Class –II and Class – III equipments to HMC-III some six years back after a through screening for three years period.
“Some of the equipment have a design life of 60 years, that is the design life of the whole reactor nowadays – therefore the concept of replacement or repair of parts should not be considered at the start,” Engineer Habib said, adding, “We will ensure that HMC-III abides with strict compliance of licence requirements and meets the international standards.” Currently, the PAEC has three main subsidiaries, HMC-III, the National Centre for Non- Destructive Testing and the Pakistan Welding Institute, which play a key role in the indigenous development of the nuclear programme and nuclear energy in the country.
Highlighting the importance of localised development of parts, equipments and human resource in this regard, PAEC Chairman Ansar Pervaiz said that Pakistan was constantly under international embargoes and localised manufacturing of parts would help the country in keeping up the required maintenance and make required improvements at the existing nuclear power plants.
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