Unit 3 connected to grid at Pakistan’s Chashma NPP

20 October 2016

Unit 3 at Pakistan’s Chashma NPP, a Chinese-designed CNP-300 pressurised water reactor (PWR), was connected to the grid on 15 October at a formal ceremony attended by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), which build the facility, and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. It achieved first criticality on 2 October and is expected to enter commercial operation before the end of this year. Chashma unit 1 went into operation in 2000 and unit 2 in 2011. A fourth unit is expected to begin operation in the first half of 2017.

China has also agreed to invest $6.5bn to build a reactor in Karachi, where a 125MWe Canadian-supplied pressurized heavy water reactor, Karachi unit 1, which has been in commercial operation since 1972. China plans to build two 1,161MWe Chinese domestic design third-generation Hualong One reactors at Karachi, which are scheduled to enter service in 2021 and 2022. A ground-breaking ceremony for Karachi 2 was held in August 2015.

China's long-term aim is to enter the global nuclear market. As well as investing in the UK Hinkley Point C reactor with France's EDF, it has also signed cooperation agreements with Argentina, Romania, Egypt and Kenya. CNNC said in its statement that it had already exported seven reactor units, and had established technology and trade relations with more than 40 nations. However, its involvement in Pakistan is controversial, as Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

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