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January 19, 2015

Three more sites identified for nuclear power plants

Karachi

January 19, 2015

Karachi
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has identified three more sites for establishment of nuclear power plants; Muzaffargarh, Chashma in Mianwali and a third yet undisclosed location.
Each of these units would have a production capacity of 1,100MW and would be in addition to the four under-construction plants, C3 and C4 in Mianwali and the K2 and K3 in Karachi.
“Sites for three new power plants in Muzaffargarh, Chashma in Mianwali and another location have been identified on the directives of PM Nawaz Sharif. A detailed PC-1 for these projects has already been submitted for the Planning Commission of Pakistan’s approval,” PAEC Chairman Dr Ansar Pervez told a group of newsmen in Karachi on Saturday.
He said Pakistan planned to produce 8,800MW of electricity through nuclear power by 2030 and 40,000MW by 2050, and preparations for new nuclear plants in the country were part of plans to achieve nuclear generation targets for the next 15 years.
“C3 and C4 are expected to produce 700MW by 2016, while K2 and K3 are expected to start production in 2020 and 2021, respectively. However, we plan to start work on these new plants well before production commences at these ongoing projects,” said Dr Pervez.

Safety measures
All safety measures advised under national and international nuclear safety regulations are being adopted in the construction of K2 and K3 nuclear power plants, which are being established near KANUPP at Hawkesbay. According to officials, the plants would be solid enough to withstand the crash of a commercial airliner on its outer containment i.e. the building of the nuclear reactor.
In his briefing regarding the K2 and K3 nuclear power plants, the project general manager, Azfar Minhaj, said both plants met the enhanced global safety targets. “One of the safety features of the K2 and K3 plants is the double containment – a complete shell over the main containment. The lessons learnt from the

Fukushima accident in Japan have also been fully integrated in the construction of these plants. They will rank amongst the safest reactor systems available anywhere in the world,” he maintained.
Commenting on precautionary measures adopted for tsunamis or earthquakes, he said the K2 and K3 would be 12 meters above sea level, while the maximum expected height of waves in case of a tsunami in Karachi remains between 2.7 to 3 meters.
“In 1945, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit the Makran coast and it generated waves up to 14 meters high. However, along the coast where K2 and K3 are being constructed, the height of tsunami waves were less than three meters. So, all possible precautionary measures have been enforced to prevent any disasters,” said Minhaj.
He claimed the newly constructed power plants would also be environmentally safe as environmental assessments conducted by independent experts and the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) suggest that it would not cause any adverse affects on the ecology or the marine ecosystem of the coastal area.
“Nuclear power is the most pollution free and environment friendly power generation method and these plants are based on the ACP-1000 model which has many safety features added to a standard Pressurised Water Reactor (RWR),” he said.
Regarding earthquakes, Minhaj said the structure of the K2 and K3 nuclear plants would have double the strength for bearing an earthquake as compared to buildings in Karachi. “China is funding construction of these plants, including the C3, C4, K2 and K3, and 82 percent of the funding is loan-based, which would be repaid from the income of these plants at an interest rate of 3.25 percent,” he added.