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Friday, September 4, 2009

Inauguration of First Atomic Reactor of Pakistan (April 30, 1966)

The main feature of the stamp is the Atomic Reactor Build-ing at 1sIamabad. The Tower appears on the left side of the stamp while the dome on thc right side. The fountain and the pool could be seen in the foreground. The Postage” in English appears at the top in small letters and word “Pakistan” in English is shown at the top left side. The word “Pakistan” in Urdu and Bengali appears in reverse at the bottom black panel. The denomination i.e. ‘15 Paisa’ is shown in the left corner of the stamp. The wordings “Pakistan’s First Atomic Reactor” appear in the open space at the top of the dome.
The Commemorative Postage Stamp will be available for sale on and from the 30th April, 1966 at all important Post Offices. Philatelic Bureaux and Philatelic Counters in Pakistan and also at some of the Pakistan Diplomatic Missions abroad. To commemorate the First Atomic Reactor of Pakistan, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a postage stamp of 15 Paisa denomination on the 30th April, 1966.
When the Uranium atom splits or “fission”, it not only releases enormous amounts of energy in the form of heat which can be converted into electric power. but also radioacti-vity which helps to produce radiation sources and radioactive elements called radioisotopes, ashy-products. These can be used in solving many problems of agriculture, such as the evolution of better varieties of crops, eradication of insects and pests, detection of the presence or absence of nutrients in various soils etc. In the field of medicine. radioisotopes have been used in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases such as cancer, disorders of thyroid and blood circula-tion etc. In industry their application is limited by the limit of one’s imagination.
For a developing country like Pakistan which is short of indigenous fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) and has a limited hydro power potential, atomic energy as a source of power genera-tion offers bright prospects. The uses of radiation sources and radioisotopes in different fields add another dimension to the big programme of economic development that Pakistan aims to implement. It was for this reason that President Ayub Khan once said, “Pakistan is too poor to afford the luxury of not investing in an atomic energy programme”. The heart of that programme will be carried out at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECII) located at Nilore about 15 miles from Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the New Federal Capital. The Institute has a 5 MW research reactor as a central facility with a number of laboratories round it for disciplines like nuclear chemistry, nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, nuclear fuels and materials, electronics, applied mathematics.
The first phase of the construction of the Institute has been completed at a cost of Rs. 4 crores—8 million dollars. With the start-up of the PINSTECH reactor on December 21, 1965, Pakistan entered the atomic age with the dedication to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes. PINSTECH when completed will be the finest institution of its kind in Asia for training and research in nuclear sciences and technology, cover-ing a built-up area of about 4,00,000 sq. ft. Nearly 1,000 scientists will be working in its laboratories by the end of Pak-istan’s third Five Year Plan in 1970. When completed it will cost about Rs. 10 crores— 20 million dollars.
In addition to P1NSTECH, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has established two big training and research centres of a regional character—one at Lahore and the other at Dacca to help the development of the two provinces. Centres exclusively for research in agriculture have also been established at Tandojam in West Pakistan and Dacca in East Pakistan and Medical Centres have been established at Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Lahore, Dacca and Chittagong.
During the last five years the Commission has broken the ice of stagnancy in scientific researches and pioneer-ed the atomic energy programme with such speed and vision that it has drawn respect from all parts of the world. PINSTECH is the finest achieve-ment of the Commission blending the past with the future, in the present—a symbol of beauty and function characteristic of architectural and scientific heritage of Muslims.