It seems the Government of Pakistan is working hard to eliminate the country’s energy problems. After the inauguration of the Thar coal power plant and electricity-import project with India and Iran, the Government is now working with neighboring China to build a nuclear reactor – the KANNUP-II.
According to the latest reports, the reactor is being constructed near Paradise Point, Karachi under the supervision of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
KANNUP-II is being financed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the China National Nuclear Corporation, the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and China’s Atomic Energy Authority.
Pakistan was the first Islamic country in the world to construct and operate nuclear power plants. It is also one of four nuclear-armed nations that are not a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Presently, Pakistan has three licensed-commercial nuclear power plants with six working nuclear reactors and two more currently under-construction (not including KANNUP-II).
As Pakistan is not a party to the NPT we cannot import the latest nuclear technologies. China however, has promised to promote the growth and development of Pakistan, and has also taken the responsibility of developing the country’s nuclear power reactors that will be owned and operated under specific international safeguards.
The KANNUP-II reactor is being built to have a Net Capacity of 1,000 MWe and a Gross Capacity of 1,100 MWe that will be generated from 900 MWe units imported by China from Russia in the mid 90s. According to World Nuclear News, the project is estimated to cost the Chinese approximately 10 billion dollars.
China and Pakistan have further plans to set-up new projects in the near future that will cost at least $3.3 billion and are expected to produce 900 MW of hydro-electricity and 425 MWe through cycle gas turbines. The projects are expected to increase Pakistan’s energy generation capacity by 16%, which would really help in controlling electricity rates, reducing the utilization of fossil fuels and reducing the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere.