Pakistan Successfully Installs Third China-Built Nuclear Reactor
The third unit of Pakistan's Chashma nuclear plant has reportedly gone into full operation, marking China's successful third overseas reactor, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced on Monday.
CNNC said in a notice that the unit was formally installed to the grid on Saturday at a ceremony in Pakistan, the Samaa reported.
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The Chashma nuclear facility is located in the central province of Punjab. Dubbed as the Chashma-3 project, the nuclear reactor was inaugurated "on trial basis" last Saturday with an installed capacity of 340 megawatts, a spokesperson from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said.
"After performing various safety and functional tests, the plant will attain full power in first fortnight of December 2016," Shahid Riaz told the Voice of America News on Monday.
The Chashma-3 project is the third nuclear reactor China built for Pakistan. The two other reactors Chashma-1 and Chashma-2, which started its operations in 2000 and 2011, respectively, now supply 600 megawatts of electricity to the grid. The fourth unit is expected to go into full operation in the first half of 2017.
Meanwhile, China has also agreed to build a reactor in Pakistan's Karachi worth $6.5 billion. The planned nuclear reactor will mark the overseas debut of Hualong One, China's homegrown third generation reactor. The project is set to complete by the end of the decade with a total capacity of about 2,200 megawatts, according to Reuters.
However, the nuclear cooperation between the two nations comes amid controversy that Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an agreement between member nations to make sure fissile materials are not used to make weapons.
Although China has a clean slate record, representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency told Reuters last September that China should still ensure that the countries it is importing to are capable of following the necessary regulations. Islamabad, on the other hand, reportedly brushed off such concerns.