The context in Energy Demand in Pakistan (Energy share, energy dependency)
In recent years, as the world globalizes, new usage of energy has increased and this has led to the threat and observation that oil fields are likely to dry. In the case of Pakistan, there has also been an increased use of gas; and with Pakistan unable to produce oil products, this has led to the continued increasing imports from other Middle East countries.
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The country’s main source of energy is from natural gases where the country uses all the energy produced from the source. As a result, Pakistan has been seeking ways to find alternative sources of energy to compensate for the existing sources and the investment in nuclear power could not come at a better time (Clough Par 3).
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Risk Assessment for AECL on the environmental, social, and ethical aspects for this project: NPO Nuclear in the context of reducing CO2 emission
The release of Carbon Dioxide emissions into the air has been increasing steadily since the inception or the beginning of the industrial revolution. The emissions are further expected to increase as the world economies develop especially as the less developed economies increase their development pace as they seek to reach par with the developed countries. The most well-recognized contributor to global warming is the use of fossil fuels, coal, and natural gases such as greenhouse gases for energy production functions. If the world does not shift from using non-renewable sources of energy and move towards renewable sources of energy such as wind power, nuclear and solar power, the carbon emissions will continue climbing and the world will become even warmer leading to climate changes and change of weather patterns, a condition that may lead to the earth becoming an inhabitable place for man and other living things. Because fossil fuels are the major sources of energy and their continuous usage will lead to an increase in the release of carbon emissions in the air, it is important for all the stakeholders involved to ensure that they use the existing options to reduce carbon dioxide emission which include: increased efficiency in the production of energy, use of renewable energy sources and also the expansion in the use of nuclear power.
In the past, nuclear power has been seen as the only cornerstone which will help in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions given its ability and the potential to produce a large amount of energy with proven technologies while releasing less amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The current state of nuclear power indicates that nuclear power contributes only 17% of the current global energy production. In the world, the use of electricity is projected to increase substantially however, during this period, the use of nuclear power is just likely to increase by a mare 5 to 10% especially due to the inability of many countries to follow the laid regulations and also the required capital to invest (Makhijani 1).
Unless the world agrees on the carbon taxes, nuclear power has enormous requirements in form of machinery and other capital requirements when compared to the other sources of energy. Concerning safety, environment, and health effects, safeguarding the nuclear materials is quite a stressful issue due to the effect of the compounds if leaked to the environment. Finally, the failure by the management of the nuclear plants to fully observe and implement the management of all the radioactive wastes and materials can lead to the release of high levels of radioactive materials in the environment endangering the lives of many (Makhijani 2).
With the above issues being of major concern, many people have got issues on the radioactive wastes and many are into the question that if the CO2 menace is to be reduced but only at the expense of introducing another bigger problem, is there any need therefore to introduce a nuclear power plant? Another problem is that when one does the economics of the costs involved, the costs of establishing nuclear power plants including financial risks compared to alternatives are very high(Totty, Par 12). The lead time of establishing a nuclear plant is 8 to 10 years and within this time, any investor or country would have found efficient ways of utilizing the available energy or seeking new sources of energy such as renewable sources (Anon, Par 6). Another issue that has been a major concern to many stakeholders is the fact that the cost of reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions using nuclear power is very much high for example when compared with natural gas and wind power plants (Makhijani 4).
A study on nuclear power energy in Canada found that whereas many people think nuclear power reduces the emissions of Green House Gases to the atmosphere (Winfield, Jamison, Wong& Czajkowski 4). It was found out that there are usually Green House Gases at every stage of the nuclear energy cycle with power construction being the most hit stage. More carbon emissions occur as a result of the operation of the equipment during the mining of uranium and if the sources of radioactive material such as uranium are poor, it would mean more carbon dioxide releases as more energy would have to be used during the extraction of the minerals. The extent to which nuclear power releases Carbon Dioxide and other gases are given below in the case of Canada where:
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“In Canada, total GHG emissions associated with uranium mining, milling, refining, conversion, and fuel fabrication are between 240,000 and 366,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Total emissions associated with the sector, including the emissions associated with power plant construction, are in the range of 468,000 and 594,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions of between 134,000 and 170,000 cars per year” (Winfield, Jamison, Wong& Czajkowski 4).
As a result of the above evidence, one can be sure that the use of nuclear power for energy production will continue to face support as well as opposition depending on how an individual views the issue. Most people feel that the government has to take the responsibility of ensuring every company engaging in nuclear power production and even other types of businesses take corporate social responsibility for their activities (Kraft 208).
Stakeholder relationships/ what has been the project’s understanding and management of stakeholder relationships, including communities and the degree to which the sphere of influence and reach affected community groups has been assessed.
The stakeholders’ relationship has been positive where everybody hopes that the nuclear power investments will solve the energy power which Pakistan has been facing in the past. The government hopes by agreeing with AECL, the organization will be able to build their nuclear reactors in Pakistan. The corporation between Pakistani and the EDC has been positive by the Pakistani government even supporting the trade between Canada and Dubai which has been a major trading partner with Pakistan for a long.
The EDC has been keen on developing and enhancing trade relationships between the two countries they have thus been looking for trade and export opportunities for the Pakistan business community. The relationship between the two countries goes further in the past. In the year 1981, the Canada- Pakistan Business Council was registered in Montréal. The formation of this nonprofit organization was meant to promote trade between the two countries. The council has enabled the business to grow between the two countries by supporting trade between the two countries and through its efforts, most Canadian companies are now well established in Pakistan (Canada-Pakistan Business Council 10).
Legal and ethical aspects/ provide a scan of legal or ethical aspects relating to the Project that may potentially garner NGO or media and identify whether any outstanding lawsuit exists
Before the exportation of nuclear technology to Pakistan, the organization must first ensure they follow the guidelines as laid by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The framework for this body covers the regulatory role, licensing, and compliance as well as the cooperative undertakings among the involved stakeholders. In the regulatory part, the company has to ensure that it follows the Nuclear Safety and Control Act which provides the regulations and regulatory documents, the company also has to fulfill the requirements of the Nuclear Liability Act as well as the Canadian Environment Assessment Act by observing all the safety regulations in accordance to the law.
Before implementing the project in Pakistan, the company should also ensure that it fully follows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Security and Radioactive Sources. The code of conduct simply ensures that the growing concern over the exposure and safety to radioactive materials is observed and the public is exposed to very minimal levels of radioactive materials. Before the introduction of the project, under the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) where every company engaging in nuclear energy production is supposed to develop monitoring and follow up actions. For example, the company should establish a quality management program and then develop a regulatory approach for the extension of nuclear power plants (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission 4).
On the other hand, the body responsible for regulating nuclear power production is the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority. This body allows or bars companies from nuclear energy production by choosing whom to license and then supervising the activities. The country is not yet to become a member of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation treaty although it observes the nuclear power guidelines as directed by the IAEA safeguards. With its being not a member of the treaty, Pakistan has been able to avoid international inspections on its enrichment programs which are suspected they could be making nuclear weapons under the notion that they mainly concentrate on nuclear energy for power only although lately, they have received positive accreditation from the United States of America (World Nuclear Association Par 19).
Another legal aspect that the company will have to follow before establishing its Nuclear Power Plant, is meeting the performance standards set by the International Finance Corporations (IFC) which maintains that the social and environmental effects of the project have to be managed and controlled in a way that ensures people living around or even far from the project are not affected negatively by the effects of the project. The IFC sets an effective social and management system to be that system that is not static and is a continuous process where the communication network between all the involved stakeholders from the clients to the workers is effective. The company also needs to use good predicting techniques are a basic requirement for any company that wants to set up a nuclear power plant to enable it to foresee disasters that may occur during implementation and operation.
There exist many ethical issues and others keep on emerging about the safe usage of nuclear power not only in Canada and Pakistan but also in the rest of the world. The issue of funding nuclear projects has been a sensitive issue especially in the Arab world where there have been allegations that these countries are using nuclear power for other uses such as atomic weapons in opposite to the promise that nuclear plants were being used for energy production purposes only. As a result, technical, legal, and ethical issues for investors have been on the rise
Whereas the supporters of nuclear energy propose that the mining of uranium and use of nuclear power reduces carbon dioxide emissions, the ethical issues about nuclear power are that it poses risks including exposure to radioactive materials which can lead to defects, poor growth, and the birth of abnormal children in future due to the exposure as a result if not closely monitored.
The problem with nuclear power, despite the costs involved when investing other than the use in the military of which is not allowed, nuclear power is only used in power generation, and as a result, if less costly sources of energy emerged it would be a waste of money and resources since these projects would be rendered useless. According to Green (2), doubling nuclear power at the expense of fossil fuels will reduce carbon emissions by just 4%. The problem which arises with this is the fact that at the pace at which nuclear power plants are being introduced, the high level of nuclear wastes would be large enough to build more than one million nuclear weapons.
The injustice aspect is another ethical problem of nuclear power. While the workers in the nuclear industry continue to be affected by the effects of the radioactive materials they are exposed to little have been done to ensure they are fully compensated. While some governments have acknowledged that there is a need to look into the effects of these radioactive materials, some of these people are usually ignored and some governments have been using delay tactics so that the claiming workers die during the period of claiming for their compensation and thus they are never compensated. The information about nuclear power largely remains an ethical issue. The public is not aware of what these plants dispose of and the extent of the effects of these chemical materials released as waste by these plants thus no one is aware of the danger he or she is exposed to as we saw in Japan with cases where people were exposed to high levels of radiation both in water and other consumables.
It is thus important to weigh the benefits of nuclear power in reducing the Green Houses Gases to the costs and the risks which people will be exposed to including weapons proliferation, nuclear smuggling, and the potential of terrorists also targeting nuclear plants must also be checked to ensure peoples lives are not exposed to any danger. Another ethical issue about nuclear power is that it reduces carbon emissions thus reducing global warming but as we have seen above, during the process of building the nuclear plant, there is usually a release of carbon dioxide into the air and also during the mining process where the carbon dioxide emitted depend on the quality of uranium or radioactive materials being mined.
By following the IFC performance standard 4 Community Health, Safety, and Security, there is a surety that communities living along will not be subjected to the negative effects of the project as the client is supposed to undertake consultations with all the involved stakeholders to collect their views and then discuss how the risks can be mitigated. It is important to note that for the consultation to be effective, the client should release the relevant information to the public to ensure any expected challenge or risks is out rightly discussed to avoid future instances of lawsuits and other ugly scenes from happening.
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The client has to find ways in which they can avoid or reduce the generation and release of dangerous compounds to the environment. The IFC performance standard 3 Pollution Prevention and Abatement requires where wastes can be minimized they be minimized whether it is by recycling or through any means. In the instances where the wastes cannot be recycled, the client is supposed to destroy and dispose of the wastes in a way that there will be no harm to the environment thus the client will be required to minimize the releases where avoidance of wastes release is not possible.
Summarize the nature and extent of “free and prior informed public consultations” (as per the IFC performances Standard and Guidelines)
The nature and the extent of free and prior consultation as explained under the IFC performances Standard explains that all the stakeholders who will be affected by the project whether positively or negatively should be engaged in continuous consultations in a way that the affected parties will be able to understand what benefits or costs they are likely to face after the introduction of the project in the area. An effective consultation should be based on releasing all reliable information about the project including all the plans and the drafts to the affected community, the consultations should first begin with the Social Impact Assessment which explains how the people will be affected in their day to day lives as a result of the project.
Social Impact Assessment focuses on the social and environmental effects the project is likely to have on the people. It also offers solutions to the said impacts depending on their intensity and how they will affect the community. For the consultation to be accepted by everyone in the community and to avoid future occasions of people resisting the introduction of the project in the area, it is always advisable to ensure that the consultations are held in such a way that everybody feels involved ad every idea presented is discussed no matter how long it will take to avoid some implementation challenges later. Informed participation by every member of the affected community leads to the incorporation of new ideas gathered from the members of the public and this positively serves the project since the community feels involved in the development of the project.
Comment On The Methodology And Degree To Which Community Support For The Project Has Been Assessed
A community diagnostic approach was used in gathering qualitative information on where the problems would arise during the introduction of the project. The first step in designing the methodology to be used entailed collecting the data through formal and informal forums or discussions and interviews as well. The discussions were held in form of workshops where all people met and discussed the problems which might arise during and after implementation of the project. The community is in favor of the project due to the benefits they will derive from the industry which could lead to the growth of the economy as a whole thus improving their living standards.
Identify Potential Indicator of “Broad Community Support”
An indicator of the broad community support is the fact that many people view that the introduction of a nuclear plant in their country will improve the regional security, civilian infrastructure, and also the perceptions of her neighbors such as India who have been threatening to attack them. As a result, their standards of living will rise and their economy is likely to be transformed. They prefer the use of nuclear power as a better alternative since it will ensure there is a continuous supply of energy though some people are wary of what would happen if floods like the one which just hit the country or the Tsunami in Japan could reoccur as many lives would be exposed to danger (Pakistan Press International 1)
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd: Company Communications Strategy
The AECL has a well-established communication strategy where it has developed a five-year plan for the implementation of its projects. The plan contains operational plans which are usually communicated to the employees and the management through the various existing channels. For example, strategic directions are usually communicated through newsletters and meetings. The process is more preferred especially by the management since they can know how best the objectives fit with the superior ones. Another initiative that has been introduced in the corporation is performance excellence. The initiative seeks to make the employees well aware of how their objectives are moving in line with those of the corporation and how their objectives are likely to affect those people to whom the services are offered to.
The AECL has also made some progress by developing performance measures. The establishment of a performance measure ensures that the performance is well in line with the objectives. Some of the areas where performance measures have been observed include the Nuclear Laboratories Business Unit and the internal report of some of the large projects within the organization (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, 2007).
In its corporate scorecard, the organization has also been able to address several issues which include, a measure to track how the nuclear wastes are progressing and also by decommissioning projects. Their scorecard also measures the customers’ satisfaction and quality index thereby providing the organization with an overview of results achieved and also allow the organization to assess whether it should or it should not assess the performance of its objectives.
To attract customers and maintain customer loyalty, the company has been introducing new products in the market. For example, its ability to market its nuclear reactors within Canada and beyond borders enabled the organization to make the ACR 700MW for the US market. The company is also able to change with the new requirements for the clients for example in the year 2005, the market conditions changed, and to meet the requirements of the Canadian market; the organization was forced to change its design product.
The management has also introduced some culture change initiatives which are simply aimed at aligning the employees to the customers’ demands. This is to ensure that the quality needed during operation is met. These among other initiatives have helped the organization in growing and establishing a very stable communication network (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 19).
The Reputation Risk Assessment (see two documents uploaded for the structure of Risk Assessment)
Complete a scan of public resources about the environmental, social, and ethical aspects of the Project contributing to reputation risk
As man becomes conscious of his surroundings, managers have been taking risk assessments to minimize the chances of accidents occurring. Managers of Nuclear Power Plants have not been left behind either and due to the sensitivity of the compounds they deal with, it becomes very ideal for them to consider the multifaceted dimensions of the risk people are involved in when engaging in nuclear power production activities. For the management of nuclear power plants to remain competitive, they must integrate the management of the production methods, safety regulations, and economic risks smoothly and effectively. Among the advantages of using integrated risk management is the fact it offers a correlation between safety, operational and financial performances, and risks.
Most of the time, risks can be considered in two different dimensions. The first dimension is on the things which are likely to change while the other dimension is considered the effects or the magnitude of the potential changes if they ever occur. The notion of the risks includes both the likely opportunities and threats which people will be exposed to. Many risks are depending on the field one works in. for example, for the plant safety analyst, risks involved are those related to the frequency of the radioactive materials while for a financial analyst he or she might concentrate on the costs involved. Most organizations are usually faced with four types of risks which are: safety, production or operations, commercial or financial, and finally strategic risks.
Outline a stakeholder mapping
As man becomes conscious of his surroundings, managers have been taking risk assessments to minimize the chances of accidents occurring. Managers of Nuclear Power Plants have not been left behind either and due to the sensitivity of the compounds they deal with, it becomes very ideal for them to consider the multifaceted dimensions of the risk people are involved in when engaging in nuclear power production activities. For the management of nuclear power plants to remain competitive, they must integrate the management of the production methods, safety regulations, and economic risks smoothly and effectively. Implementing systems that maintain the responsibility of the company to many managers is an expensive investment to the company especially when it comes to investment in a nuclear plant. Understanding the fact that one has to protect the environment from the disposal of radio active materials otherwise the project itself proves a liability to the public. As a result, the company generates reputation gains that have to improve the company’s view from the public. Risks to the reputation of the company can arise from several sources which include: finance, social, ethical, and environmental issues, marketing innovation among others.
In this case, we shall take into consideration the social, ethical, and environmental aspects which would contribute to reputation risk. In the environmental aspect, it is important to note that all steps involved in creating a nuclear energy plant entail environmental hazards. From the mining of the mineral (uranium) to refining to enrichment, these processes contaminate the environment including the air, land, groundwater, and other resources. If the AECL implements this project without ensuring that all the safety measures are taken into consideration, it will dent its reputation as a world-leading program in providing safe nuclear power to its customers
In the social aspect, nuclear plant exposes life to more danger compared to other sources of energy. In case of an accident, many lives are either lost or endangered. If the workers do not die, most of them can suffer from acute radiation poisoning. For example as a result of the Chernobyl disaster, where 30people died instantly while more than two hundred were treated with acute radiation poisoning. As a result, if the company wants to protect its social reputation, it must ensure such instances do not occur by maintaining high safety regulations. The AECL will thus have to ensure that all the social problems that are likely to arise during and after implementation are well covered to avoid suffering negatively in the social aspect.
All forms of energy tend to create social problems when it comes to nuclear energy, issues about safety, proliferation, and waste disposal. How well the company will be able to manage these problems is a major concern to the public and the society as a whole thus the organization will have to consider the ethical aspects before implementing the project
Several key stakeholders have been involved and as a result, they have forwarded their views about establishing the nuclear power plant in Pakistan.
|Community||The communities surrounding the place where the reactor will be built are already up in arms against the establishment of the plant allegedly due to the health risks they are likely to be exposed to as well as the destruction of natural resources such as forest, they would prefer the plant to be located elsewhere|
|Non-Governmental Organization||There are expected lawsuits from Non-Governmental Organizations seeking to block the building of the nuclear plant in the area due to the danger it poses.|
|Insurgents||With criminal gangs being prevalent in Pakistan, the criminal group might want to target the company and such a motive would be very dangerous thus if the insurgents are against the introduction of the plant the government should ensure top security or the plant be established somewhere else.|
|Politicians||Laws that allow the introduction of foreign companies especially a sensitive one such as a nuclear power plant requires legislation from the politicians and thus it is important to hear their views before establishing the plant|
Summary of the visit to Pakistan as you will be unable to travel to Pakistan to meet key local NGOs, affected community groups, local media, and regulatory authorities
After visiting Pakistan for the Environment Impact assessment on the project, we met the various community groups, regulatory bodies, the non-governmental organizations which were or felt affected by the project. To assess how the expectations of the above from the project were, we used the checklist method to collect and interact with them.
The checklist method entailed discussing with them all the possible relationships between the impacts and their mitigation measures. This method was preferred since it allowed the affected people to become aware of what they were to expect from the project. There was the use of both the descriptive method to analyze the identification and scooping of the risks and their mitigation measures while the weighted checklist was used in assessing the relative difference between the importance of the environmental issues allowing for scoring and aggregation of the impacts arising from the issues of environment component allowing a quantitative comparison between the two. We did not face much resistance though the people explained their fears due to exposure to radioactive materials an issue we promised them to look into. Although they understood the benefits of building the nuclear power project, their worst fears were that maybe sometimes in the future the government would force them to relocate to other places if expansion was needed or if the safety measures were not observed fully.
We can conclude that Pakistan as a country cannot produce enough energy for its domestic uses and thus this situation has forced Pakistan to continuously be importing oil products to cater to its uses as the natural gas energy supplies cannot be able to accommodate the increasing demand. As a result, the country has been seeking ways to find alternative sources of energy to compensate for the existing sources and the investment in nuclear power could not come at a better time.
Though in the past nuclear power has been identified as a single undifferentiated source of power, from the above information, friends and foes of nuclear power should consider the daunting energy problems many citizens are being faced with. With the growing challenges to energy security, the range of energy sources should be widened especially with the reduction of greenhouse gases being reduced, as the processing needs to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by coal and oil extraction which continue to cause deaths per year nuclear power. Although we have observed that the use of nuclear does not reduce emissions of Carbon dioxide as expected if countries concentrate on using nuclear power as a source of energy, the world energy demands will stabilize and the risk world economies face of possible drying of oil wells would not a thing of major concern.
Renewable sources of energy are key in reducing pollution but no one is certain that the renewable sources of energy can be relied upon in the future especially with the increased cases of global climate change, the ever-changing climatic conditions might make renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy may not work in future. The introduction of nuclear energy in Pakistan will reduce its’ reliance on its neighbors since as the energy sources become depleted, any country that will depend on its neighbors risks the lives of its citizens.
In Pakistan where the project wants to be implemented, the public is positive about the impacts of the project especially economically although most of them are wary of the environmental risks the project exposes to them and what would happen if terrorist groups such as the Taliban attacked the plant as it would mean a national disaster for Pakistan. Before the company can implement the project in Pakistan, there are several regulations it has to follow some originating from their country Canada as well as the international regulations as directed by the World Nuclear Association.
Pakistani continues to observe the safety regulations as laid by the World Nuclear Association, thus I would recommend the AECL to go ahead and finance the nuclear project in Pakistan should continue as the likely resistance both from the community and other nongovernmental organizations has been absolved for people understand that with any investment, there are risks which follow and thus they should be able to cope with the challenges if they want their country to stabilize economically.
As long as the country ensures that the establishment of the nuclear plant will be secure from terrorist attacks thereby posing dangers to its employees and the public, the AECL should go forward and finance the project.
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