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Nuclear plant delivery in Pakistan signals bright future for Hualong One

By ZHENG XIN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-04 07:01

The K2 unit of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant begins operating in Pakistan in May 2021. Both K2 and K3 units use Hualong One, China's third-generation nuclear power technology with full intellectual property rights. [Photo/Xinhua]

The first delivery of China's Hualong One project in the overseas market will further enhance the world's confidence in Chinese nuclear power technology, market observers and analysts said on Friday.

China officially delivered the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant to Pakistan on Thursday, said its operator China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC).

The plant consists of two units — K2 and K3 — that use Hualong One, China's third-generation nuclear power technology with full intellectual property rights. Together, K2 and K3 form the largest nuclear power plant in Pakistan.

Hualong One is also one of the most widely accepted third-generation nuclear power reactors in the current global market, CNNC said.

K2 was put into operation in 2021, followed by K3 in 2022, but both were under CNNC's operational control to ensure smooth operations in the initial phase. On Thursday, the whole plant was handed over to Pakistan.

An analyst said K2 and K3 illustrate the strategic and stable partnership between China and Pakistan for green and low-carbon energy.

Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, said China has been moving away from imports of nuclear power technology in recent years to accelerate the development of homegrown technology.

"The delivery of the Karachi project on Thursday will further boost confidence in China's nuclear technology and potentially pave the way for its adoption in not only developing countries but developed ones," he said. "Chances are high that China will further export its nuclear technology in the years to come."

By now, the accumulated generated electricity of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant has reached nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours, providing power for 2 million local residents, CNNC said.

The annual nuclear power generated by K2 and K3 is equivalent to the power generated by 6.24 million metric tons of coal. This has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tons, optimizing the energy structure of Pakistan and easing pressure from climate change, it said.

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