Second overseas Hualong One starts up

23 February 2022

Unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan has reached first criticality, becoming the fourth Hualong One reactor in the world - and the second outside China - to reach that milestone.

Karachi 2 and 3 (Image: CNNC)

"Unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan achieved criticality for the first time at midnight on Feb 21, meaning it is now able to operate with power and laying a solid foundation for future connection to the grid and power generation," China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said.

Construction of Karachi 3, the second of two 1100 MWe Hualong One units to be built near Paradise Point in the province of Sindh, began in May 2016. Karachi 2 entered commercial operation in May last year. The units are the first exports of CNNC's Hualong One, which is also promoted on the international market as HPR1000.

The Karachi units are also sometimes referred to as KANUPP, and the site was home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small 100 MWe (90 MWe net) Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.

The first domestic demonstration plants of CNNC's Hualong One, or HPR1000, design are Fuqing 5 and 6, in China's Fujian province. Fuqing 5 entered commercial operation in January 2021; Fuqing 6 started up in December and was connected to the electricity grid on 1 January, reaching full power output earlier this month.

Nuclear energy currently provides around 8% of Pakistan's energy mix from five reactors: four CNNC-supplied CNP-300 pressurised water reactors at Chashma in Punjab, and Karachi 2. CNNC in 2017 signed a cooperation agreement with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on the construction of a Hualong One as a fifth unit at Chashma.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News