Hot functional testing at Unit 3 of Pakistan’s Karachi nuclear power plant has been completed ahead of schedule, and the reactor has entered the fuel loading stage, China National Nuclear Corporation announced on November 11.
Hot functional testing involves increasing the temperature of the reactor coolant system and carrying out comprehensive tests to ensure that coolant circuits and safety systems are operating properly. Conducted prior to the loading of nuclear fuel, such testing simulates the thermal working conditions of the plant and verifies that nuclear island and conventional equipment and systems meet design requirements.
Karachi-3 is a Hualong One reactor, also known as the HPR1000, a Chinese-designed and -developed 1,000-MWe Generation III pressurized water reactor, incorporating design elements of CNNC’s ACP1000 and China General Nuclear Power Group’s ACPR1000+. The Hualong One has a design life of 60 years.
Two Hualong Ones: Karachi-2, the twin of Unit 3, entered commercial operation in May of this year, becoming the first operating Hualong One reactor outside of China. (CNNC announced the commercial start of the very first Hualong One, Unit 5 at the Fuqing nuclear plant in China’s Fujian Province, in late January.) Unit 3 is expected to begin operation next year.
According to CNNC, each Hualong One unit generates approximately 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, meeting the annual electricity demands of more than 4 million households in Pakistan—the equivalent of reducing standard coal consumption by 3.12 million tons, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 8.16 million tons, or planting more than 70 million trees.
CNNC said that the construction of the two units has boosted the development of Pakistan’s economy and relevant industries, directly providing over 10,000 job opportunities for Pakistanis and indirectly creating a further 40,000 job opportunities through the value chain.