Islamabad – Staff Reporter:
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.
The nuclear plant has internal and external accident prevention ability and enhanced emergency response capability.
The plant has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to a further 20 years. It is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors and an extended refueling cycle.
The construction of K-2 commenced in November 2013, whereas its fuel loading started 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 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 Mianwali district, 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, 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.