Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has intensified its activities to meet the nuclear electricity generation target of 8,800 MW by the year 2030 set by the government under the Energy Security Plan.
“Completion of K-2/K-3 project will be a big step that will bring PAEC 2,200 MW closer to achieving this target,” according to the Economic Survey 2020-21 launched here on Thursday.
The PAEC is planning to develop additional sites to house more nuclear power plants in the future, for which suitable locations have been identified throughout the country.
As per the document, these sites were investigated and acquired for future development where ample technical and engineering infrastructure was already in place to support both the existing and the under-construction nuclear power plants.
For this purpose, skilled workforce is being produced regularly by indigenous institutes, imparting them state-of-the-art training and education in all relevant disciplines at all levels, from technical training to academic programs. “These instruments are enough to successfully support the foreseeable future ambitions envisioned by PAEC for the future nuclear power program of Pakistan.”
Currently, there are six nuclear power plants operating on two sites in the country, two units namely Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) at Karachi and four units of Chashma Nuclear Power Plants (C-1, C-2, C-3 & C-4) at Chashma (Mianwali District of Punjab Province).
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The gross capacity of these five nuclear power plants is 2,530 MW that supplied about 7,076 million units of electricity to the national grid from July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
KANUPP, the oldest of the lot has surpassed its design life of 30 years and has completed 49 years of safe and successful operation. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) relicenced the plant after expiry of its design life and put a cap on thermal power as well as electrical power. KANUPP was allowed to operate at a maximum power of 90 MW.
The second unit at Karachi (K-2) was connected to grid on March 18, 2021.
The four units of Chashma are amongst the best-performing electricity generating plants in the country, in terms of endurance and availability. “Two of these plants, C-2 and C-4 made national records of continuous longest operation for over one year.
Read more: Energy Security key for Pakistan’s progress
One more unit with gross capacity of 1,100 MW is currently under construction near the KANUPP site in Karachi, the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants (K-3). Cold functional tests for K-3 are in progress. K-3 plants are expected to become operational in 2022.
PAEC has undertaken construction of another nuclear power plant at Chashma near Mianwali. The site already is home to four operating nuclear plants.
This unit will be called C-5 and it will replicate the design characteristics of K-2 and K-3.