By Nuclear Resource A debate has started about the wisdom of building two large Chinese-supplied nuclear reactors in Karachi. The fundamental concern is that the nearly 20 million people living in Karachi—about one out of every 10 Pakistanis—could be at risk from these reactors.

The two reactors, worth $4.8 billion apiece, are to be supplied on a turnkey basis by the Chinese National Nuclear Corp. A soft Chinese loan of $6.5 billion apparently proved irresistible to the cash-strapped Pakistani government. This brand of reactor, known as the ACP-1000, has not yet been built or tested anywhere. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), which will operate these reactors, insists the reactors will be safe.

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