On 18 April, unit 3 of Pakistan’s Karachi NPP, a 1100 MWe Chinese supplied HPR1000 (Hualong One) pressurised water reactor (PWR), completed acceptance tests, marking the start of its commercial operation, according to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Karachi 3 is the fourth Hualong One reactor to begin operation and the second outside China. These include units 5 & 6 of the Fuqing NPP in China’s Fujian province, and unit 2 & 3 of Karachi NPP.
The ceremony was attended by CNNC President Gu Jun and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Ali Raza. Construction of Karachi 3 began in May 2016 and hot functional testing was completed ahead of schedule in November 2021. The unit achieved first criticality in February, was connected to the grid on 4 March and reached 100% capacity for the first time on 31 March.
Karachi 2 entered commercial operation in May 2021. CNNC said Karachi 2 and 3 will supply some 20 billion kWh of clean electricity a year, meeting the annual demand of the local population of 2 million people and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tonnes.
The Karachi NPP also hosts Karachi 1 a small 100 MWe Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.
Pakistan also has four CNP-300 PWRs supplied by CNNC at Chashma in Punjab. CNNC in 2017 signed a cooperation agreement with the PAEC for a Hualong One as a fifth unit at Chashma.
On April 18, Karachi 3 in Pakistan, passed the temporary acceptance (Photo: CNNC)