Pakistan nuclear plant passes tests

13 December 2016

Unit 3 at Pakistan’s Chashma NPP in Punjab province has passed a preliminary acceptance test, according to a 7 December statement by supplier China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Chashma 3 had completed a "100-hour reliability demonstration test", marking the end of acceptance tests for the unit, CNNC said. The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of the year. Construction of the Chinese-designed CNP-300 pressurised water reactor began in March 2011, and it achieved first criticality on 3 October. It was connected to the grid on 15 October sine when its output has since been gradually increased to 100%.

Chashma 3 is one of two CNP-300 units being built at the site. Unit 4, which began construction nine months after unit 3, is currently undergoing commissioning and is expected to be connected to the grid during the first half of 2017. The site already has two Chinese-supplied 300MWe PWRs. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 2000, and unit 2 in 2011. Pakistan also has a 125MWe Canadian-supplied pressurised heavy water reactor, Karachi unit 1, which has been in commercial operation since 1972.

Two 1,161MWe Chinese-supplied Hualong One plants are also planned for the Karachi site. A ground-breaking ceremony for Karachi 2 was held in August 2015, with the units scheduled to enter service in 2021 and 2022.

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