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K-3 nuclear power plant set to commence operations by March

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s 7th Nuclear Power Plant, commonly known as K-3, is in the final stages of commissioning and after operational and safety tests, the plant is likely to start commercial operation by next month, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Official sources say that with the commissioning of K-3 and decommissioning of K-1, the total installed capacity of six nuclear power plants would cross 3620 megawatts (MW) as the plant is expected to achieve Commercial Operation Date (COD) in March this year.

With the induction of K-2 and K-3 into the national grid, the share of nuclear power in the energy mix would exceed 10 per cent, the sources said.

After receiving a formal fuel load permit from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), the loading of fuel to the nuclear power plant has already been completed.

It is pertinent to mention here that a new era in the nuclear power development programme of Pakistan commenced with the signing of ‘Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy’ between the governments of China and Pakistan in 1986.

However, the first concrete step in the remarkable journey was taken 30 years ago when China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) signed the contract for construction and installation of a 325-megawatt Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) at Chashma on December 31, 1991.

The cooperation strengthened with the construction of three more nuclear power plants at Chashma Nuclear Power Generation Station (CNPGS) site.

The contract for the construction of two more units (K-2 and K-3) having a generation capacity of 1100 megawatts each near Karachi was signed on February 18, 2013.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, construction work continued on both K-2 and K-3. K-2 successfully started commercial operation on May 21, 2021.

Source: Pakistan Today