Pakistan embarks on nuclear desalination

19 January 2007

A thermal seawater desalination plant will be coupled to the Karachi nuclear power plant as a "first step" towards the employment of large scale production of potable water which has "socio-economic significance" for Pakistan.

The country's Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has teamed up with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to undertake a Coordinated Research Project.

The result of the work will be the Nuclear Desalination Demonstration Plant (NDDP), which will use extraction steam from one of the Karachi nuclear plant's (Kanupp's) feed heaters to desalinate seawater. The existing intake structure of Kanupp will be used to pump sea water to the new plant. The NDDP should produce 1600 cubic meters of potable water each day for domestic and industrial use.

The PAEC says that the project is "progressing well," that the design engineering phase has been completed and the manufacturing of the plant equipment has already begun.

The IAEA has provided an "expert mission" to the populous south Asian country to assist in developing technical specifications and give advice on safety issues related to coupling the plants' systems.

Kanupp is a Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor originally rated at 125 MWe.

Further information

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission