Karachi 2: Final sign-off for first Hualong One export

21 May 2024

Representatives from China and Pakistan formally signed the final acceptance certificate for Karachi unit 2, just over three years after the 1100 MWe unit started up.

The event to mark the final acceptance of Karachi 2 was attended by representatives from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Karachi K-2/K-3 Nuclear Power Plant and China Zhongyuan (Image: CNNC)

Karachi 2 was declared in commercial operation in May 2021. Since then, various performance indicators have been gradually optimised, and operating performance and WANO indicators have been continuously improved, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said. The unit has generated a total of nearly 23 billion kWh, reducing coal consumption by 7.176 million tonnes and carbon dioxide emissions by 18.768 million tonnes per year.

Experience gained from the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the unit will be used to improve new projects, including preparations for the construction of Chashma unit 5 - for which a ground-breaking ceremony was held last year - the company added.

CNNC said that its Zhongyuan Operations and Maintenance subsidiary has been working towards finalising acceptance items and equipment warranty documents during the unit guarantee period. It said it has "successfully closed" more than 99.9% of the main contract guaranteed task projects and "effectively promoted the improvement of the operational stability" of many key items of equipment.

A joint working group was set up in February to "proactively and comprehensively" understand any concerns raised by Pakistan during the final acceptance phase of the unit. Zhongyuan Operations and Maintenance worked closely with the Pakistani owners to ensure the rapid resolution of concerns with frequent meetings to study related issues and discuss solutions, which significantly reduced the number of final acceptance items, CNNC said.

Karachi units 2 and 3 are the first exports of CNNC's 1100 MWe Hualong One pressurised water reactor. Construction of unit 2 began in 2015 and unit 3 the following year. Karachi 2 achieved first criticality in February 2021 and was connected to the grid the following month after the completion of commissioning tests. Unit 3 achieved first criticality in February 2022 and entered commercial operation in April that year. The site, in the province of Sindh, was also home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.

In August 2023, Pakistan's Executive Committee of the National Economic Council formally approved a project to build Chashma unit 5, a Hualong One reactor, at Mianwali in Punjab, on a site that is already home to four operating Chinese-supplied CNP-300 pressurised water reactors. China has agreed to invest some USD4.8 billion in the Chashma 5 project.

China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation is CNNC's general contractor for Karachi 2 and 3.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News