The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) said on 2 March that unit-2 of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (K-2) had achieved criticality and would now begin a series of safety tests and procedures before being linked to the national grid at the end of March. The 1,100MWe K-2, one of two Chinese supplied Hualong One reactors at the site, is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of May. The other one, K-3, is scheduled for operation in 2022.
K-2 is the first nuclear power plant in Pakistan with a generation capacity of more that 1,000MW and will help reduce load shedding in summer, PAEC noted. Hitherto PAEC has been operating five smaller units (one at Karachi and four at Chashma NPP) with collective generation capacity of some 1,400MWe. K-2 will, therefore, almost double nuclear generation capacity. Fuel loading at the plant started in December 2020 after clearance from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority. The PAEC had at that time announced that K-2 would begin commercial operations in April 2021 and K-3 by the end of 2021.