Contracts for new Pakistan reactors

10 September 2013

Contracts were recently signed for the Karachi Coastal Nuclear Power Project in Pakistan comprising two ACP1000 units. The order marks the first foreign purchase of the Chinese reactor design.

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has been contracted to build the plant on a turnkey basis. At a signing ceremony in Shanghai at the end of August, CNNC signed contracts with sub-contractors for the project. The main contractor is CNNC subsidiary China Zhongyuan Engineering Company. Other Chinese companies which have been involved in the construction of reactors at the Pakistan's Chashma plant will also participate in the project. These include China Nuclear Power Engineering, the Nuclear Power Institute of China and the East China Electric Power Designing Institute.

ACP1000 (CNNC) 460x262
How a single ACP1000 could look (Image: CNNC)

The cost of the two 1100 MWe ACP1000 units - to be built at the coastal Karachi site near Paradise Point in Sindh province about 25 kilometres west of the capital - has been put at PKR959 billion ($9.6 billion). In July, Pakistan's top-level Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved funds to purchase the reactors.

The ACP1000

The ACP1000 is derived from the 900 MWe PWRs that China imported from France in the 1990s. In April this year, Chinese authorities said they had full intellectual property rights over the design, had completed the phase of 'research and design review' and would move their focus to 'construction and market development.' The first two ACP1000 units are planned for units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province.

Pakistan currently has a 40-year-old 125 MWe pressurized heavy water reactor at Karachi and another nuclear power plant at Chashma in northern Punjab province. This has two 300 MWe Chinese-built pressurized water reactors operating with two more under construction.

Pakistan is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and largely excluded from world trade in nuclear materials and technology due to an absence of full scope safeguards. China, however, has longstanding bilateral arrangements to support Pakistan's development and the country's nuclear power reactors are owned and operated under item-specific international safeguards.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News