The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC; Urdu: ادارہ جوہری توانائی پاکستان) is an independent governmental authority and a scientific research institution, concerned with research and development of nuclear power, promotion of nuclear science, energy conservation and the peaceful usage of nuclear technology.[1][2]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
ادارہ جوہری توانائی پاکستان
PAEC logo.png
Agency overview
Formed1956; 63 years ago (1956)
Superseding agency
JurisdictionGovernment of Pakistan
HeadquartersIslamabad Capital Territory
Annual budgetClassified
Agency executive
Parent agencyStrategic Plans Division Force, Pakistan Armed Forces

Since its establishment in 1956, the PAEC has overseen the extensive development of nuclear infrastructure to support the economical uplift of Pakistan by founding institutions that focus on development on food irradiation and on nuclear medicine radiation therapy for cancer treatment.[3][4] The PAEC organizes conferences and directs research at the country's leading universities.[5] Since the 1960s, the PAEC is also a scientific research partner and sponsor of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where Pakistani scientists have contributed to developing particle accelerators and research on high-energy physics.[6] PAEC scientists regularly pay visits to CERN while taking part in projects led by CERN.[7]

In 2001, the PAEC was integrated with the National Command Authority (Pakistan) which is under the Prime Minister of Pakistan.[8]



Early historyEdit

Chaghi Monument, Islamabad Pakistan

Following the partition of British Indian Empire by the United Kingdom in 1947, Pakistan emerged as a Muslim-dominated state.[9] The turbulent nature of its emergence critically influenced the scientific development of the country.[9]

The establishment of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in 1951 began Pakistan's research on physical sciences.[10] In 1953, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower announced the Atoms for Peace program, and of which Pakistan became its earliest partner.[11] Research at PAEC initially followed a strict non-weapon policy issued by then-Foreign Minister Sir Sir Zafar-ulla Khan.[11] In 1955, the government established a committee of scientists to prepare nuclear energy plans and build an industrial nuclear infrastructure throughout the country.[12] As the Energy Council Act went into full effect, Prime minister Huseyn Suhrawardy established the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in March 1956.[11] Its first chair was Nazir Ahmad – an experimental physicist.[11] Other members of the PAEC included Technical member Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, an organic chemist at the University of Karachi, and Raziuddin Siddiqui, a mathematical physicist at the same university.[11] Together, they both took charge of the research and development directorates of the commission.[12] In 1958, Abdus Salam of the University of the Punjab also joined the commission, along with Munir Ahmad Khan who initially lobbied for acquiring a pool-type reactor from the United States.[12]

In 1958, PAEC Chairman Nazir Ahmad proposed to the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation to build a heavy water production facility with production capacity of 50 kg of heavy water per day at Multan, but this proposal was not acted on.[11] In 1960, I.H. Usmani was elevated as PAEC's second chair with the transfer of Nazir Ahmad at the Federal Bureau of Statistics.[11] The reactor was built in 1962, financed by local fertilizer companies.[13] In 1964, PAEC established its first research institute, the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH), at Nilore, and began negotiation for country's first commercial nuclear power plant to be built in Karachi.[11] In 1965, the PAEC reached an agreement with Canadian General Electric to build a CANDU reactor in Karachi.[11] Financial investment for the nuclear power plant in Karachi was provided by the Economic Coordination Committee, and Edward Durell Stone was commissioned to oversee the architectural design of PINSTECH.[11] From 1965–71, the PAEC sent 600 scientists abroad for training in nuclear sciences.[11] in 1969, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, agreed to supply a small scale nuclear reprocessing plant, with the capacity to extract 360 grams of plutonium per year.[11] In 1973, the PAEC announced the discovery of large uranium deposits in Punjab.[11]

After India's decisive victory in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Pakistan retracted its non-weapon policy and the research and development of nuclear weapons began in 1972.[11] PAEC's senior nuclear engineer Munir Ahmad Khan, who threw himself with full rigor for this task, was named as PAEC's third chair by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[14] Work began on ingenious development of the nuclear fuel cycle infrastructure and nuclear weapons research in the 1970s.[15] Key research took place at PINSTECH, where scientists worked on weapon designs and eventual nuclear weapons testing.[16] The PAEC expanded the crash program with various laboratories, facilities, and directorates researching on developing and testing materials and components for bomb designs, whilst it engineered plants and funded facilities for production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium.[16] In 1976, the possible test sites were decided by the PAEC and construction on test sites were completed in 1979.[16] In 1983, PAEC's efforts reached to a milestone when it had conducted a first subcritical test on a weapon design; such testing continued until the early 1990s under codename: Kirana-I.[16]

Following nuclear tests by India earlier in the month, on 28 May 1998, PAEC led the final preparations and conducted Pakistan's first nuclear tests (Codename: Chagai-I), which was followed by Chagai-II in Kharan Desert on 30 May 1998. In 2001, the PAEC's research was focused back to civilian and peaceful research with the establishment of the National Command Authority and the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority.[17]

Research and educationEdit

Since its establishment in 1956, the PAEC provided a conspicuous example of benefit of the atomic-age technologies for the advancement of agriculture, engineering, biology, and medicine.[18][19] In 1960, the PAEC established its first nuclear medicines center for Cancer treatment at the Jinnah Medical College of the University of Karachi; the second Medical Isotope Institute was established at the Mayo Hospital of the King Edward Medical University, Lahore.[20] Physicians and medical researchers were provided with facilities for cancer diagnose and treatment by the PAEC's funding.[20]

In 1960, the PAEC established its regional atomic research center in Lahore, and a metallurgy center in Karachi in 1963.[21] Another energy center was located in Dhaka where many scientists were educated.[21] In 1967, the PAEC founded the Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences which became one of the primary technical universities of the country. Many of the PAEC's scientists and engineers served in its faculty.[21] The PAEC supports its university-level physics program at the Government College University, Lahore where it awards fellowships to the students. The PAEC continues to promotes its program as "peaceful uses of atomic energy commenced for the benefit the scientific community as well as public."[22]

About its promotion of education, senior scientist, Ishfaq Ahmad quoted: "the PAEC was responsible to send more than 600 scientists to the abroad.[11] As of present, PAEC maintains its prestigious image, and is now noted as one of the largest science and technology institution of the country.[23] The PAEC supports research activities and learning programs at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), of which PAEC is also its organizer.[24] Since 1974, the PAEC has been a key organizer and sponsor of the International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics and Contemporary Needs conference each and every year where scientists from all over the world are delegated to the country.[25] The science conference in Nathiagali provides the dissemination of the knowledge advancement in physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, mathematics, computer science, logic, and philosophy.[25]

As the emphasis shifted towards concerns for the national security interests, the PAEC's important projects were also initiated in this area.[17] Many of the notable scientists with international prestige have worked and affiliated with the PAEC.[17] With the establishment of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) and National Command Authority, the PAEC focused has not shifted back to utilization of nuclear power on peaceful and industrial usage as well as continued the research in nuclear developments in terms of both peaceful and scientific use.[23]

Studies on expansion of nuclear powerEdit

As of current, the PAEC is held responsible for design preparation and proper operational function of the commercial nuclear power plants. The PAEC provides lobby at the governmental level for the safe usage of the nuclear power sources; though the safety regulations and protections of the nuclear power facilities are managed by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). Providing the policy guidance to the government, PAEC's studies envisions setting up power plants energy production with a capacity of ~8800MW by 2030.[26]

Under this policy, the KANUPP power plants and CHASHNUPP power plants are expanded and currently under construction under PAEC and PNRA.[27]

Constituent institutionsEdit

PAEC partnership with CERNEdit

Pakistan has a long history of participating in an experiments and research undertaking with CERN, and has a long tradition of wonderful physicists who are working around the world.[28] Since the 1960s, Pakistan has been contributing and regularly participating in CERN's project, theoretical and nuclear experiments.[28] A prime example would be Abdus Salam; Salam was the first man to be accredited with all the collaboration with CERN which continues till the present when he convinced CERN to give Pakistan stacks of nuclear emulsion exposed for further study of pions, kaons and antiprotons in the 1960s.[29] Some theoretical physicists from Pakistan had the opportunity to work at CERN through short visits.[28] During the 1980s, some of the experimental physicists from Pakistan, specialising in the technique of Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTD), also benefited from CERN by exposing the stacks in the beam at the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS).[28]

In 2005, CERN awarded PAEC with the ATLAS Supplier Award in 2005, in connection with manufacturing and fabrication of various equipment for CERN.[30]

On 27 June 2011, PAEC and CERN reached an agreement for extending the technical cooperation with CERN's upcoming programmes.[30] CERN's Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer personally paid a visit to Pakistan where he spoke for the need of importance of Science in Pakistan and importance of Germany's strategic alliance with Pakistan.[citation needed] The agreement was signed in order to extend an earlier agreement, which came into operation in 2003 between CERN and Pakistan for the supply of manufactured equipment for Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN along with placement of scientists and engineers from Pakistan to assist in the scientific programme of CERN.[30]

With the efforts led by the PAEC, the CERN granted and made Pakistan as its associate member, on 22 June 2014— the first Asian country and second Muslim country after Turkey.[31]

PAEC contribution to Compact Muon SolenoidEdit

In 1997, Ishfaq Ahmad— chair of the PAEC— reached to CERN to sign a contract between PAEC and CERN after elaborate discussions an in-kind contribution worth one million Swiss francs for the construction of eight magnet supports for the CMS detector.[29]

For CMS, the PAEC built magnet feet and installed 320 Resistive Plate Chambers (RPC), as well as contributing to CMS computing. Several other mechanical components for ATLAS and for the LHC were also built by the PAEC.[32] It was PAEC's efforts that led the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) with CERN's direct cooperation in the area of radioprotection.[32]

PAEC support to Large Hadron ColliderEdit

PAEC took participation in the development of Large Hadron Collider.

In 2000, CERN signed another agreement which doubled the Pakistani contribution from one to two million Swiss francs. And with this new agreement Pakistan started construction of the resistive plate chambers required for the CMS muon system. While more recently, a protocol has been signed enhancing Pakistan’s total contribution to the LHC programme to $10 million. Pakistan with all these efforts is already hoping to become an observer state at CERN.[28][29] In 2006 PAEC and CERN agreed on expanded cooperation, including contributions by PAEC valued at 5 million Swiss francs.[33]

World's largest particle accelerator at CERNEdit

The PAEC, partnered with country's leading universities, send a large team of scientists and engineers to CERN to participate in Large Hadron Collider on 10 September 2008.[34] According to the news sources, the team of Pakistani scientists were keenly involved in the development of the Large Hadron Collider— the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.[34]

The data of the experiment was available for the Pakistani scientists who would examine the data and results would be accumulated afterwards by the Pakistan physicists.[35]

PAEC ChairsEdit

Corporate managementEdit

The PAEC is chaired by the appointed chairperson by the Government of Pakistan as the governmental notification is released.[36] The PAEC's corporate management is organized by the Government who awarded contracts to the potential candidates.[36] Its full-time members are consisted of the appointed Chair; a finance member; and two technical members.[36] Its part-time members are composed of the senior scientists and a chief scientific adviser to the government.[36]

The PAEC's corporate team are constitutionally bound to meet not less than four times every year for the execution of development projects involving nuclear power stations and the generation of electric power.[36] As of current, Muhammad Naeem is the current chairman of the PAEC, appointed at the office since 2015.[37] The PAEC retains its autonomous corporate management and comes under the structure of the National Command Authority.[38] The amendments carried out in 2010, the National Command Authority is now placed again under the Prime Minister of Pakistan.[38] The Chairman directly reports to the Prime Minister's Secretariat for its policy making and confirmation issues.[38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tahir, Abdul Ghaffar. "IAEA presentation on nuclear power by PAEC" (PDF). IAEA publications, PAEC direct. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  2. ^ ASO. "Nuclear Power in Pakistan". Australian Safeguards Office. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ staff. "Biomedical engineering at PAEC". PAEC Medical DIvision. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  4. ^ et. al. staff developer. "Agriculture and Biotechnology". PAEC BIO Division. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ "PAEC and Summer College on Physics". International Nathiagali Summer College. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
  6. ^ Ahmad, DSc, Ishfaq (5 October 2003). "CERN and Pakistan: a personal perspective". Switzerland: CERN Courier. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  7. ^ Editorial (30 September 2014). "Pakistan and CERN". Express Tribune, 2014. Express Tribune. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  8. ^ ISPR release (5 September 2013). "National Command Authority". Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b Chakma, Bhumitra (2009). "Phase I: 1954-71". Pakistan's nuclear weapons (google books). New York, [u.s.a]: Routledge Publications Co. ISBN 1134132549. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  10. ^ Kapur, Ashok (1987). Pakistan's nuclear development. London: Croom Helm. p. 258. ISBN 0709931018. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o NTI publishers' contributors. "NTI archives: 1953-71" (PDF). United States.: Nuclear Threat Initiatives (NTI). p. 234. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Khan, Aqeel (7 June 2001). "Development of Nuclear Industry in Pakistan". Professor Aqeel Khan, professor of Political Science at the Ryerson University. Dr. Aqeel Khan of the Ryerson University and the Ryerson University Press. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  13. ^ FAS. "Multan heavy water reactor". Federation of Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  14. ^ Fox, Liam (2013). Rising Tides: Facing the Challenges of a New Era. London [u.k]: Quercus Co. p. 2000. ISBN 1782067418. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  15. ^ Nanda, Prakash (2003). Rediscovering Asia : evolution of India's look-east policy (1st ed. in India ed.). New Delhi: Lancer Publ. ISBN 8170622972.
  16. ^ a b c d [Shahid-ur-Rehman] (1999). Long road to Chagai. Islamabad: Printwise publications. ISBN 9789698500009.
  17. ^ a b c Khan, Feroz Hassan (2012). Eating grass the making of the Pakistani bomb. Palo Alto California [u.s.a0: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804784809. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  18. ^ UNESCO (2010). UNESCO science report 2010. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. ISBN 9231041320.
  19. ^ editor, Karthika Sasikumar, (2012). Organizational cultures and the management of nuclear technology political and military sociology. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1412848946. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  20. ^ a b Khurshid, S.J. (15 July 2005). "Nuclear Medical Centers of PAEC" (PDF). The Nucleus. Islamabad, Pakistan: The Nucleus. 42 (1–2): 93–96. ISSN 0029-5698. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  21. ^ a b c Edited by Turpin Tim; Krishna, V.V. (2007). Science, Technology policy, and Diffusion of Knowledge: Understanding the Dynamic System of Asia-Pacific. Massachusetts [u.s.a0: Edward Elger Publication Co. ISBN 1781008515. Retrieved 7 November 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Acton, Q. Ashton (2013). Isotopes—Advances in Research and Applications. Atlanta, GA, [u.s.a]: ScholarlyEditions. ISBN 1481676989. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  23. ^ a b et. al. contributors. "Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission". SCIENCE, Pakistan. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  24. ^ Khan, Shahid Riaz (May 2013). "Investment in Research" (PDF). PakAtom. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  25. ^ a b INSC. "International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics & Contemporary Needs, Nathiagali, Pakistan". International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics & Contemporary Needs, Nathiagali, Pakistan. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  26. ^ APP (2 June 2013). "PAEC to produce 8800MW by 2030". The Nation, 2013. The Nation. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  27. ^ PAEC Nuclear Power. "Nuclear Power". PAEC Nuclear Power. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  28. ^ a b c d e CERN, Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (6 Oct 2003). "CERN Courier: CERN and Pakistan: a personal perspective" (HTTP). CERN Courier. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  29. ^ a b c
  30. ^ a b c PAEC (27 June 2011). "Pakistan and CERN signed agreement for Technical Cooperation". PAEC Public Relations and International Press Directorate. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's International Relations Directorate. Archived from the original (HTTP) on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  31. ^ From the Newspaper, AFP (22 June 2014). "Pakistan granted Cern's associate membership". Dawn Newspapers, 2014. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  32. ^ a b "Pakistan and CERN". Pakistan and CERN. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  33. ^ 2006 Protocol on CERN-PAEC cooperation
  34. ^ a b et. al. (16 September 2008). "27 Pakistani Scientists working on CERN's LHC "Big Bang" Experiments". LahoreTech News, 2008. LahoreTech News. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  35. ^ APP (16 September 2008). "27 Pakistani scientists took part in 'Big Bang' experiment". Associate Press of Pakistan, 16 September 2008. Associate Press of Pakistan. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k PD (29 May 1965). "The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Ordinance, 1965" (PDF). Govt. of Pakistan, 1965. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  37. ^ DAWN (24 April 2015). "Mohammad Naeem appointed PAEC chairman".
  38. ^ a b c PD, Public Domain. "National Command Authority ACT 2010" (PDF). Gazette of Pakistan, PD. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

External linksEdit