The following letter, regarding the Pakistani power reactor KANUPP, was written by CNS member N. Craik and published in the Edmonton Journal on August 14, 2006. The published version appears below Mr. Craik’s original letter, with some CNS comments in [italics in square brackets]. Following at the bottom is G. Richens’ letter in the Edmonton Journal, to which Mr. Craik was responding.
  1. N. Craik's original letter to the Edmonton Journal
  2. N. Craik's letter as published in the Edmonton Journal, August 14, 2006.
  3. G. Richens’ letter as published in the Edmonton Journal August 10, 2006.

Original N. Craik letter sent to the Edmonton Journal

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To the Edmonton Journal

Letter to the Editor

The letter from Gordon Richens published in the Edmonton Journal 10 August 2006, makes the false allegation that “the sale of a commercial-scale CANDU reactor to Pakistan in the 1960’s used this Canadian nuclear technology as the kernel to develop nuclear weapons.”

The only nuclear technology supplied by Canada to Pakistan was the Karachi Nuclear Power Project – KANUPP – a 137 MWe electrical generating station which went into service in 1972 and continued to have Canadian Technical Advisors resident at KANUPP until 1976.

There is a comprehensive article in Scientific American December 2001, pages 72 to 83 "India, Pakistan and the Bomb" which does not even mention KANUPP or show it on an excellent 2 page map of nuclear weapons facilities in Indian and Pakistan. The reason KANUPP is not shown is because, as can be deduced from the SA article, KANUPP is simply not required for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program which uses an uranium enrichment facility at Kahuta opened in 1984 and a research/plutonium reactor of 40-70MWth at Khushab opened in 1998, neither of which had any input from Canada.

I have reason to believe that Pakistan has strictly adhered to the conditions of the 1966 KANUPP Contract which required application of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards to KANUPP spent fuel. In 1972, I visited the IAEA in Vienna and unofficially reviewed their system for monitoring and securing spent fuel bundles. I then went on to KANUPP where I saw the IAEA system in operation and also discussed this with the IAEA inspector who happened to be there at the time on a routine regular visit. I was convinced that the IAEA system could not be defeated without being detected.

The Scientific Article reports that the key staff in developing the nuclear weapons were Pakistanis who worked with a Dutch firm on gas centrifuges and in Belgium on reprocessing technology. Note; it is these facilities which make nuclear weapons, not nuclear electrical generating stations.

In 1972 I visited PINSTEC - the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology - near Islamabad. The manager showed me around the swimming pool experimental reactor and other nuclear facilities. I found that we had both studied engineering at Glasgow University, Scotland. He also had a large staff none of whom had been trained in Canada. So I guess the U.K. can also be added to the list of bad guys who have helped develop the Islamic bomb, plus all the other international universities and institutes where Pakistanis had been trained in any relevant technology.

The Pakistan staff who came to Canada under the KANUPP project were trained in the operation and maintenance of the CANDU electrical generating station which is very different technology from gas centrifuges used for uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing used for plutonium extraction. To lay a guilt trip on Canada because a few of them may have later worked in Pakistan on nuclear weapons is as ridiculous as blaming Xerox. The fact is that with or without KANUPP, Pakistan would have developed nuclear weapons.

Neil Craik


N. Craik letter as published version in the Edmonton Journal

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Note: CNS comments are in [italics in square brackets].

Pakistan's nuclear capability has nothing to do with Candu
Edmonton Journal
14 August 2006

Neil Craik

Re: "Candu arming Iran," by Gordon Richens, Letters, Aug. 10.

Gordon Richens makes the false allegation that Pakistan used a Candu reactor it purchased in the 1970s as "the kernel to develop nuclear weapons." [Note: the Edmonton Journal inserted “Candu”, due to the mistake in Richens’ letter. The Pakistan reactor was built by Canadian General Electric and is therefore not a CANDU (all uppercase letters), because that name only applies to AECL-designed power reactors (Douglas Point and later). The CGE reactor does, however, share many of the features of a CANDU, and CGE and AECL power reactors share a common heritage in the jointly-built NPD reactor (1962 - 1987) in Rolphton, Ontario.]

The only nuclear technology supplied by Canada to Pakistan was the Karachi Nuclear Power Project (KANUPP) a 137- MWe Candu [Again, not strictly a CANDU] electrical generating station which went into service in 1972 and continued to have Canadian technical advisers resident at KANUPP until 1976.

KANUPP is not required for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, which uses a uranium-enrichment facility at Kahuta, which opened in 1984, and a research/plutonium reactor of 40-70 MWth at Khushab, opened in 1998. Neither had any input from Canada.

I have reason to believe that Pakistan has strictly adhered to the conditions of the 1966 KANUPP Contract, which required application of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards to KANUPP spent fuel.

In 1972, I visited the IAEA in Vienna and unofficially reviewed their system for monitoring and securing spent fuel bundles. I then went on to KANUPP where I saw the IAEA system in operation and also discussed this with the IAEA inspector who happened to be there at the time on a routine regular visit. I was convinced that the IAEA system could not be defeated without being detected.

The key staff in developing the nuclear weapons were Pakistanis who worked with a Dutch firm on gas centrifuges and in Belgium on reprocessing technology. It is these facilities which make nuclear weapons -- not nuclear electrical generating stations.

In 1972, I visited PINSTEC -- the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology -- near Islamabad. The manager showed me around the experimental reactor and other nuclear facilities. We had both studied engineering at Glasgow University, in Scotland. He also had a large staff, none of whom had been trained in Canada.

So I guess the U.K. can also be added to the list of bad guys who have helped develop the Islamic bomb, plus all the other international universities and institutes where Pakistanis have been trained in any relevant technology.

The Pakistan staff who came to Canada under the KANUPP project were trained in the operation and maintenance of the Candu electrical generating station, which is very different technology from gas centrifuges used for uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing used for plutonium extraction.

To lay a guilt trip on Canada because a few people may have later worked in Pakistan on nuclear weapons is as ridiculous as blaming Xerox.


G. Richens letter as published in the Edmonton Journal

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Candu arming Iran
Edmonton Journal
10 August 2006

Re: "Canadian technology helps Israel inflict death, destruction in Lebanon," by Patricia Hartnagel, Letters, Aug. 4.

Hartnagel cites examples where violence in the Middle East is exacerbated by Canadian technology.

In addition to these examples, I would remind readers of Canada's sale of commercial-scale Candu nuclear reactor technology to India and Pakistan during the 1960s and '70s. Both countries used this Canadian nuclear technology as the kernel from which they went on to develop nuclear weapons. This technology has now found its way into Iran, where it appears to some observers to be only a matter of time until Iran develops a nuclear weapon.

Thanks in a large degree to Canada's careless peddling of nuclear power-generating technology without ensuring appropriate safeguards from abuse, the examples cited by Hartnagel are in danger of becoming horribly eclipsed.

Gordon Richens, Edmonton

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