Sunday June 04, 2023

K-3 unit of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant connected to national grid

By Our Correspondent
March 05, 2022

KARACHI: The K-3 unit of 1,100 megawatts Karachi Nuclear Power Plant was successfully connected to the grid on Friday, laying solid foundations for commercial operation.

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) announced that it had connected 1,100MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 to the national grid on a trial basis and its power generating capacity would be enhanced gradually.

The plant had achieved criticality on February 21 and was undergoing certain safety tests and procedures before it could finally be connected to the grid.

“The plant has been connected to the grid on testing basis and is expected to be inaugurated soon after attaining full power,” a statement of PAEC said.

The trial run is expected to last two to four weeks before the authorities inaugurate the plant.

It is pertinent to mention that K-3 is the second nuclear power plant (NPP) in Pakistan with generation capacity of 1100 megawatt (MW), and its addition to the national grid will help reduce electricity tariff in the country.

K-3 is one of the two similar NPPs located near Karachi. The other one, named K-2, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on 21st May last year.

The ground breaking of the project was performed on November 26, 2013, and the construction started after getting approval of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). The fuel loading of the plant started in December 2021, after getting clearance from the PNRA.

PAEC is now running six NPPs in the country. Two of them are located in Karachi and named as K-2 and K-3, while four in district Mianwali, named as Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1-4.

Earlier, the collective generation capacity of all PAEC-operated NPPs was over 2,400MWs.

The addition of K-3 in the national grid is expected to enhance generation capacity of nuclear power plants in the country to over 3500MW, substantially improving the overall share of nuclear power in the energy mix.

Nuclear energy is considered a safe, reliable, and an important source of electricity with zero carbon emission besides being economically competitive.

Chairman PAEC Muhammad Naeem congratulated the project’s team and the whole nation on this occasion and hoped that the Atomic Commission will continue to serve the nation by operating its NPPs under the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency.