ISLAMABAD, July 11: The government has allowed the Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) to upgrade its laboratories at a cost of Rs2.5 billion. Sources told Dawn on Monday that the upgrading of laboratories of the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Pinstech) would be completed in five years and the Planning Commission had approved the projects. The government would provide the funding but the annual recurring expenditures would be met from the non-development budget of Pinstech.
Under the programme, laboratories and facilities of Pinstech will be established and upgraded for economical study of irradiated assemblies of the Pakistan Atomic Research Reactors I and II, the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant and the Karachi Nuclear Power Project to determine their performances at different burn-ups.
The fuel testing laboratories will be effectively utilized for failure and radiation damage studies of reactor materials for reactors in operation or planned for installation. Keeping in view the safety procedures, various technical facilities and related administrative and managerial tasks will be accommodated in three separate building blocks. Laboratories will be fitted with special ventilation and exhaust systems required for radiation work under the norms of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
ISO-accredited isotope production laboratories will be upgraded for economical production and processing of artificial radioisotopes in the fields of life sciences, hydrology, agriculture and industry under the programme.