China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said cold testing had begun at Pakistan’s Karachi NPP unit 3 (K-3). On 20 April, the primary circuit pressure of K-3 reached 22.3MPa, and the primary circuit hydraulic test of the main system was successful, marking the transition from the installation stage to commissioning stage. Units 2 and 3 at the Karachi plant are China's first exports of the Hualong One reactor design (HPR1000). Karachi 2 was synchronised with the electricity grid in March.
CNNC said this is a comprehensive test of the performance of the key equipment of the nuclear island and the quality of the installation process. The purpose is to verify the integrity and tightness of the nuclear safety protection barrier of the primary loop pressure boundary, and to verify the functions of related equipment and systems. It is the first comprehensive test of reactor performance.
CNNC said Hualong One is the “national business card” of China’s nuclear power industry. K-2&3 are being constructed under a $9bn contract worth signed between CNNC and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 2013. Construction of unit 2 began in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016. Installation of the reactor internals for K-2 was completed in 2019 and for K-3 in April 2020. K-2 achieved first criticality in February and was connected to the grid on 18 March. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation later this year, followed by K-3 in 2022.