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PM Imran Khan inaugurates 1,100 MW Chinese-built nuclear power plant

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday virtually inaugurated the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Unit-2 (K-2), a third-generation state-of-the-art plant with improved safety systems.

The ceremony was simultaneously held at K-2 NPP, Karachi and in Beijing, China, and also marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, PM Khan said he was happy that the K2 nuclear plant is being inaugurated today on the 70th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations

“Clean energy is very important for us,” he said, adding that transfer of technology will be beneficial for the country.

He said Pakistan is desirous of learning from China in various sectors, including managing the fast expanding urban centres, poverty alleviation and controlling corruption.

He said the scope of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor  is being expanded from connectivity and power sector projects to the establishment of economic zones and agricultural technology.

The premier noted that relations between the two countries were on a high note and that Pakistanis respect and love China because Beijing has always had Islamabad’s back when it mattered most.

He said Pakistan can learn a lot from China’s development.

K-2 was connected to national grid on March 18

The K-2 nuclear plant has internal and external accident prevention ability and enhanced emergency response capability.

It has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to a further 20 years. The power plant is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors and an extended refuelling cycle.

The construction of the K-2 plant started in November 2013, whereas its fuel loading initiated on December 01, 2020, after approval from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA).

A series of cold and hot functional commissioning tests related to plant operation and safety were conducted, before achieving criticality at the end of February this year.

After further reactor physics tests, the plant was connected to the national grid on March 18, 2021 for trial operation and power escalation tests, according to the information made available by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

With the inauguration of K-2 NPP, PAEC will be operating six nuclear power plants in the country. Two of them are located in Karachi namely Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-1 (K-1) and Unit-2 (K-2), while four sited at Chashma, in District Mianwali, named as Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1-4.

Earlier, the collective generation capacity of all PAEC operated NPPs was around 1,400 Mega Watts. The inauguration of K-2 with 1100 MW capacity will nearly double these figures, substantially improving the overall share of nuclear power in the energy mix.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 (K-3), with a similar capacity is also in the commissioning phase and is expected to start production during first quarter of 2022.

It is worth mentioning that the addition of clean, reliable and cost-effective nuclear power, in the energy mix, will greatly benefit the society and country at large.

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