China Supplies Pakistan with Two Nuclear Reactors

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Long article involving two of my most favoriteist countries EVER.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...c59-11e4-9dfb-03366e719af8_story.html?hpid=z1

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.
Pakistan...has turned to China for help expanding its capacity. Efforts are underway to double the size of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant in northern Punjab province, as well as to build the new Karachi reactors.

If we don't side with India our entire presence in western Asia will be marginalized or cease to exist. PK is using us for the money, milking us because we have no other real logistical options for Afghanistan.

Then there's this awesome quote which is a "duh" moment for anyone who follows this neck of the woods.

“Those are three highly advanced countries,” Ali said. “This is Pakistan. We don’t live on technology and science. In fact we are quite allergic to that.

No kidding, Sherlock, no kidding. Here we though PK was a bastion of free thought and intelligence...
 
I've said it many times here but neither you nor Pakistan are getting in the way of being friendlier with India- India is. They're still holding onto the "neutral at all costs" policy from the Cold War. They're pretty dumb and naive when it comes to the world stage. Far too egotistical and arrogant.
 
I'm actually not all that worried about this. Sure, when you see the words China and Pakistan and Nuclear in one sentence it sets off every single alarm bell in your head. Consider this, though: Pakistan already has three aging nuclear reactors. Two are in Chashma (which is in central Pakistan) and the aforementioned one in Karachi. China already has plans to build two more modern reactors in Chashma, which are expected to come online in the next 2-3 years. They'll generate a shitton of energy for Pakistan, which currently gets about 60% of its energy from burning fossil fuels. Pakistan has also suffered economic slowdown in the past due to constant energy crises.

Okay, I know there are a lot of concerns about this. Earthquake, terrorism, and Pakistan being Pakistan all top the list (as they should). However, there are a number of reasons that these concerns aren't as big as you think. Caveat: I am not an expert in nuclear science, but I generally follow the technology side of things.

The first thing to understand is that nuclear power is one of the safest forms of power production per terawatt hour. Granted it does make for huge and splashy headlines when it happens, but realistically nuclear power has had an incredibly safe and efficient track record.

Okay, so how about that earthquake threat? First: the earthquake that triggered the Tsunami that fucked up Fukushima registered 9.0 on the richter scale. Nine point zero. It was the fourth largest earthquake in recorded history. By comparison, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami combo measured 9.1 on the scale and killed over 200,000 people. The point is this: there is no building on earth that could have survived that earthquake. And that brings me to my second point: Fukushima Daaichi units 1-4 were built in the 60's and 70's, and were what are typically called "Generation II" reactors. Both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were built in the mid-70's, for comparison. Essentially, these were all older designs that did not have many of the safeguards that are to be integrated into the Gen III reactors that China is building. These safeguards essentially prevent the out-of-control, self-sustaining reactions that occurred at Chernobyl. One of the most significant is a feature of pressurized-water reactors. Put simply, these reactors require a constant flow of highly pressurized water in order to sustain the nuclear reaction. If there's a loss of pressure due to, say, an earthquake or explosion, the plant loses pressure and the reaction just shuts down. It self-regulates. Granted, if a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hits, the plant is going to be hyperfucked anyway, but the likelihood of having a meltdown is very low.

So, terrorism, right? Well for one, Pakistan's existing nuclear stockpile is a much juicier target for terrorism than the slightly-enriched uranium as is typically used in heavy water nuclear reactors. By "slightly-enriched", I mean that regular uranium fuel has a concentration of the U235 isotope of between 1-2%, far below the threshold for a conventional nuclear weapon (which starts at 20%). Of course, to breach a nuclear facility, steal the fissile material, and get out without dying of supercancer, you would need state sponsorship and a ton of assets in place. Johnny Talib isn't going to saunter down from Peshawar, shoot a few gate guards and scientists, shout some Allahu Ackbars and get out with a uranium fuel rod in his shalwar. For one, the each fuel assembly is pretty big. It's also under a ton of water and generating crazy amounts of heat. A pair of thieves in Mexico found out the hard way that carting around even a tiny amount of unshielded material is bad news. Now, I get that some of you might be thinking about Israel's alleged theft of weapons-grade material back in the 60's, but again consider that this was highly-enriched uranium suitable for building a bomb. Not a nuclear fuel rod sitting inside a reactor. Like I said, Pakistan's existing nuclear stockpile would be much more attractive to a state-sponsored terrorist group with significant technological and material backing.

Lastly, even the IAEA thinks that Pakistan does a decent-enough job with its nuclear program.

Alright, I'm all out of effort with that post. Hope you enjoy!
 
Read the article. In order to achieve mass casualties, an effective dirty bomb would not only have to have enough material for a significant dose rate, but people would have to stay in the area long enough to take in that much radiation (not likely to happen after an explosion). It's not like BOOM YOU'RE IRRADIATED, JACKASS! Unless you're exposed to irradiating source long enough you aren't very likely to die from it. This answers it pretty well.
 
I have. Many are saying that the biggest risk of dirty bombs is fear, rather than actual lethality

Read the article. In order to achieve mass casualties, an effective dirty bomb would not only have to have enough material for a significant dose rate, but people would have to stay in the area long enough to take in that much radiation (not likely to happen after an explosion). It's not like BOOM YOU'RE IRRADIATED, JACKASS! Unless you're exposed to irradiating source long enough you aren't very likely to die from it. This answers it pretty well.

You seem to be riding the razor's edge of being right whilst simultaneously missing the point.

You're correct when you say a radiological dispersal device is likely not going to release lethal amounts of radiation (depending on what it's made of, put enough stuff in it and you could have a real issue). The big risks are the blast itself and being immediately exposed to the bad stuff by injection or inhalation. But here's the thing: It doesn't matter.

RDDs are classic area denial weapons. Set one off in your local mall and see how long it takes for people to go back to the Wal-Mart. How about in a hospital? A school?

You're right; they are (generally) weapons of fear. And that is exactly the point and their value. Joe Sixpack isn't walking around with a dosimeter; he isn't looking at 5 µmR/hr and thinking, "Shit, that's just background radiation. I'd get more on a flight to see the Mouse." No, he's watching the mainstream media coverage of the radiological terror attack and digging a bunker while sending the wife to loot Sam's Club for all their canned food.
 
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You're right; they are (generally) weapons of fear. And that is exactly the point and their value. Joe Sixpack isn't walking around with a dosimeter; he isn't looking at 5 µmR/hr and thinking, "Shit, that's just background radiation. I'd get more on a flight to see the Mouse." No, he's watching the mainstream media coverage of the radiological terror attack and digging a bunker while sending the wife to loot Sam's Club for all their canned food.
I get that, and you're correct. My original point was that the proliferation of the materials needed for a dirty bomb from these Pakistani reactors is highly unlikely. Pakistan currently keeps their nuclear waste on-site in coolant pools, with plans to have offsite burial sometime in the future. While the IAEA does note that these locations can be attacked, the likelihood of actually procuring material from these is highly unlikely (as I noted before). Thus, this conversation about dirty bombs is pretty moot. We can "What if?" all day long, but in my humble opinion, the benefits of this outweigh the (minimal) risks.
 
I have. Many are saying that the biggest risk of dirty bombs is fear, rather than actual lethality

But fear, being the basis of terrorism, substantially changed the US post-9/11. I would say fear (aka panic) is potentially more lethal than a RDD.

How many "news" outlets as well as EMS use Twitter to spread information? Shit doesn't have to be real or legit to be an effective message. The Army has an entire MOS devoted to being a master of the bullshits.
 
A dirty bomb while possible is highly unlikely or we would have already seen it. The problem for using a dirty bomb is the nuclear material could be traced back to the produced.

Nobody is willing to allow their material to be used in a dirty bomb and have to deal with the consequences of having a dirty bomb go off in west.
 
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