Nuclear energy and human development

by Hira Bashir
NUCLEAR Technology remained a significant element in human development. Nuclear technology is revolutionary, and it can be used for beneficial purposes. As most of the technologies, nuclear technology remained a dual use technology. It can be used for creating the most powerful weapons, and at the same time, it can be used for the human development through providing energy security, health security and other domains of human development. In health security, nuclear technology can be utilized in medicines to facilitate doctors in diagnosing and treating patients. Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope produced by commercial nuclear facilities, is utilized in medical imaging, specialist cancer therapies, and medical equipment decontamination. Nuclear isotopes are also utilized to prevent germs and parasites from infecting humans. Pakistan is also utilizing nuclear technology for human development. During two days visit of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi focused on the application of nuclear science in the fields such as nutrition and water analysis. He also inaugurated ‘cyber knife’ facility at Pakistan Atomic Energy Emission (PAEC). This facility will multiply theurapic capacities in Pakistan to treat cancer and it will help other countries too. It will safe numerous lives and the nuclear technology also saves lives in many other ways as it produces less clean energy. The energy produced through nuclear energy caused less death per unit of electricity production than another means of electricity production. Nuclear technology just causes 0.007 deaths compared to 24.6 of coal, 18.4 of oil, 4.6 of biomass, and 2.8 of gas. Now, due to the emergence of new technology, the use of nuclear energy might become even easier. In the past, it was very difficult to build nuclear technology because it was very expensive. Now Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are also developing, that can be used to produce nuclear energy and it will be convenient to use them as investment required to develop them is minimum. Pakistan should work on developing small reactors to cope up with current energy and climatic crisis. Nuclear technology is the important source of the energy for Pakistan because energy is so expensive in Pakistan. For Pakistan, it became really hard to stay competitive in international market using the expensive energy. As nuclear energy is cheaper in Pakistan, as compared to the other means of production. According to the report of the State Bank of Pakistan, expense energy is one of the roadblock in increasing exports of Pakistan. Pakistan facing export and import imbalance. Pakistan is importing goods from International market and as a result it increases financial budget and eventually inflation also increases. This leads to economic insecurity turmoil in the country, which impacts every aspect of human development. It impacts the food security and all the basic needs which leads to resentment among citizens. Secondly, it impacts the health sector, as states with economically weak could not provide required health facilities. In short, nuclear technology has the potential to complete transform every aspect of human development. —The writer is a Research Assistant at CISS AJK working on emerging technologies, nuclear politics and new trends in warfare. Email:

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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir