Karachi Nuclear Power Complex

Karachi Nuclear Power Complex
Location of Karachi Nuclear Power Complex in Pakistan
Country Pakistan
Location Paradise Point, Karachi
Coordinates 24°50′49.8″N 66°47′17.7″E / 24.847167°N 66.788250°E / 24.847167; 66.788250Coordinates: 24°50′49.8″N 66°47′17.7″E / 24.847167°N 66.788250°E / 24.847167; 66.788250
Status Under construction
Commission date Unit 1: May 28, 2022
Unit 2: January 27, 2023
Owner(s) Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Nuclear power station
Reactor type Deuterium uranium
Reactor supplier Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
Power generation
Units operational N/A
Units planned 8800 MW
Nameplate capacity Unit 1: 125 MWe
Unit 2: 1,000 MWe
Karachi Nuclear Power Plant

Karachi Nuclear Power Complex or KNPC is located in Paradise Point, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It consists of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) and CIAL KARACHI. A new governmental power project "KANUPP-2" which is under construction is also included in this complex. KANUPP-1 and KANUPP-2 are both civilian nuclear power plants which will produce 1000 MW of electricity in Karachi. The Karachi Nuclear Power Complex is under the International Atomic Energy Agency's safeguard and inspection. The plant is under construction by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and financed by IAEA, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, China National Nuclear Corporation, and China Atomic Energy Authority.

The "CIAL" (Control & Instrumentation Analysis Lab) is a part of Karachi Nuclear Power Complex of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

KESC and NESPAK cooperation

The National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) has been providing consultancy services to Karachi Nuclear Power Complex (KNPC) for replacement of the aging 132 kV circuit breakers and protective relays of the 132 kV double circuit transmission line that links Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Complex (KANPC) with Karachi Electric Supply Corporation network at Baldia grid station. The old bulk oil circuit breakers and electromechanical protective relays have been replaced with the latest SF6 circuit breakers and state-of-the-art numerical line protection devices.

Electricity connections

Stand-alone 132 kV current transformers have been provided for protection and metering functions as substitute for the bushing current transformers in the bulk oil circuit breakers. KNPC and NESPAK engineers worked closely in devising a discriminative protection scheme and its integration into the complex systems of the nuclear power plant. Both circuits of KANUPP-Baldia double circuit lines have been re-energised with the new equipment. Performance indicators have since validated the intended objectives of the project vis-a-vis discriminative functioning of the protection system against disturbances in KESC power system for stable operation of KANUPP.


The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, also known as KANUPP, is located at Paradise Point, Karachi. The KANUPP-I is a CANDU reactor supplied by the Canadian Government in 1972. It was inaugurated November 28, 1972, by then-President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. KANUPP-I is a single unit CANDU-PHWR with a total gross capacity of 137 MW. KANUPP-I remains in operation as of May 2014, and is limited to 85 MW. The KANUPP-I reactor, since from its beginning, is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection and its safeguards


Since independence from United Kingdom in 1947, Pakistan had repeatedly suffered energy crises that contributed to the country's economic slowdown. In 1960, President Field Marshal Ayub Khan appointed Abdus Salam as his Science Advisor.[1] Soon Abdus Salam became the head of Pakistan's IAEA delegation.[1] There, Abdus Salam had, now at the U.N. General Assembly, repeatedly and tirelessly advocated for the support of nuclear energy in his country.[1] And, due to Abdus Salam's significant influence on President Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Salam succeeded to obtain an approval from Ayub Khan, against the wishes of military government of Ayub Khan in 1965.[1] Due to Abdus Salam's influence on President Ayub Khan, Salam had the commercial nuclear plant near Karachi personally approved, in spite of the opposition to the project.[1] In 1965, Abdus Salam traveled to United States, where in a ceremony, Canada and Pakistan signed a nuclear energy pact with GE Canada establishing the country's first nuclear plant.[1] Per agreement, the PAEC's engineers and scientists led the construction of this mega-project. While, GE Canada provided economical funds and HEU based nuclear fuel. Parvez Butt, a nuclear engineer, was the chief designer of the plant who worked at the GE Canada's designing office. In 1966, the construction was started, and it was completed in 1971, before the starting of Indo-Pak 1971 Winter War. On November 28 of 1972, as President, later Prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, accompanied with Abdus Salam and newly appointed PAEC's Chairman Munir Ahmad Khan, inaugurated the first unit of the Karachi Nuclear Plant.[2]

The technology of the nuclear power plant is highly similar to India's CIRUS and DHRUVA reactor, with another small reactor producing reactor-grade plutonium which was produced in large stocks. Munir Ahmad Khan, now as chairman, indigenously developed and established the nuclear fuel cycle programme. In 1972, Pakistan, under Bhutto, had refused to sign the NPT. Because the reactor-grade plutonium was extremely dangerous to be open in public, the PAEC transferred it to the New Laboratories (known as The New Labs), and produced the first batch of fresh weapons-grade plutonium. In 1976, Canada stopped the supply of fuel and spare parts for the plant. The highly radioactive material was also left openly in Karachi as Canadian technicians departed from Pakistan. Pakistan media then speculated that in the absence of Canadian officials, the city would suffer a major power blackout. Canadian officials later issued the statement that the reactor would be shut down in six months. However, the PAEC, under Munir Ahmad Khan, took up this challenge and using indigenous resources produced the feed for KANUPP. In 1978, the PAEC developed its own nuclear fuel and began loading the feedstock to KANUPP-I. From its establishment until December 31 2013, KANUPP-I generated 14.7 billion kWhr of electricity and was fuelled by thousands of Pakistani-made fuel bundles without any failure. KANUPP-I is a part of Karachi Nuclear Power Complex (KNPC), owned and operated by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

In November 2013, Pakistan and China confirmed that two ACP1000 nuclear reactors, each 1000 MW, KANUPP-2 and KANUPP-3, based on CPR1000 AREVA pressurized water reactor, would be built at Karachi.[3][4]


The KANUPP reactor site is on the Arabian Sea coast, about 11 miles (17.7 km) west of Karachi. The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) has a heavy water moderated and cooled natural uranium-fuelled, horizontal pressure tube reactor. Other distinguishing features are once-through, on-power bidirectional fuelling, reactor shutdown by moderator dump, and a reactor building designed for total containment of any pressure or activity resulting from a credible accident.

Engineering facility and power capacity

The gross plant rating is 137 MWe and the corresponding net output is 125 MWe. The Nuclear Reactor Building contains the entire reactor system and auxiliaries, and consists of a pre-stressed concrete cylindrical wall, a hemispherical segmental dome of pre-stressed concrete, and a concrete base slab. The Turbine Building houses the turbine-generator and auxiliaries, some process water equipment, electrical distribution equipment, and the control room. The building is a reinforced concrete frame and block structure.

Nuclear reactor operations

The reactor consists of a tubed calandria vessel of austenitic stainless steel, which contains the heavy water moderator/reflector and 208 coolant tube assemblies. The moderator system consists of the calandria, coolers, pumps and purification system in the heavy water circuit, and control valves, dump valves and helium blowers in the helium circuit. The fuel is natural uranium in the form of sintered uranium dioxide pellets sheathed in thin zirconium alloy tubes to form solid fuel elements about 19.1 inches (48.53 cm) long by 0.6 inches (1.4 cm) diameter.


KANUPP came into commercial operation in 1972 and after completing its 30 years of design life it was shut down on December 6, 2002. The plant became operational in 2006. At present the plant is undergoing several safety upgrades for operation beyond design life. On the request of KANUPP, the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority allowed the plant to operate at 50 MW for the interim period. However, the PAEC has declined any media reports of shutting down the nuclear power plant. However, on June 30, 2009, a senior official of PAEC stated that the KANUPP would be decommissioned in 2012. The KANUPP-II, an indigenous nuclear power plant build by PAEC, will be taking the place of the KANUPP-I. However, the work on the KANUPP-II has been put on hold since July 2009. In November 2013, Pakistan and China confirmed that two ACP1000 Nuclear reactor, also known as Hualong-1, KANUPP-2 and KANUPP-3, will be built at Karachi.[3]


On 18 October 2011 the KANUPP Karachi nuclear power plant imposed a seven-hour emergency after heavy water leaked from a feeder pipe to the reactor.[5] The leakage started around midnight on Tuesday during a routine maintenance shut down.[5] After the leakage was detected the emergency was imposed at the plant and the affected area was isolated. However the emergency was lifted seven hours later, after the leak was reportedly brought under control.[5]


KANUPP-2 will cost $4.8 billion and produce around 1,100 MW.[6][7][8] On 26 November 2013, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ceremonially broke ground on a new governmental power project at the Karachi Nuclear Power Complex for the construction of two CAP1400 Nuclear reactors, also known as Hualong-1, based on AP1000 Westinghouse Electric Company Pressurized water reactor.[3][9] Dr. Ansar Pervaiz, the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said that KANUPP-2 would begin commercial operations by 2022.[10][11][12] [13]


KANUPP-3 will cost $4.8 billion and produce around 1,100 MW.[6][7] In November 2013, Pakistan and China confirmed that ACP1000 Nuclear reactor, based on [M310] Pressurized water reactor, will be built at Karachi and would begin commercial operation by 2023.[3]


KANUPP-4 is a planned commercial nuclear power plant, to be located at Karachi.

Nuclear Engineering Training Center

The KANPC also consists of a nuclear engineering college. KANUPP's Institute of Nuclear Power Engineering (KINPOE) is controlled by PAEC. KINPOE offers two-year master program in nuclear engineering and PDTP is accredited by PIEAS.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Riazuddin (2005). "Contribution of Professor Abdus Salam as Technical Member of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)" (PDF). The Nucleus. Islamabad: Professor Riazuddin, emeritus scientist at the National Center for Nuclear Physics, and a professor of theoretical physics at the Institute of Physics of the Quaid-i-Azam University. 42 (1-2): 31–34. ISSN 0029-5698. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  2. Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with Abdus Salam and Munir Ahmad Khan (1971). Pakistan - PAEC Chairman & Z.A Bhutto inauguration of KANUPP nuclear plant (TV-Medium). Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Pakistan Military Consortium (PMC).
  3. 1 2 3 4 "With Reactor Deal, China and Pakistan Seek to Reshape Global Nuclear Governance". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  4. "China making N-reactor copies to sell to Pakistan - The Times of India". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 Aziz, Faisal (Oct 20, 2011). "Leak at Pakistani nuclear plant, but no damage". reuters.com. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  6. 1 2 Pakistan to start work on Chinese-aided nuclear power plant
  7. 1 2 "Govt to kick off work on 1,100MW nuclear power plant - The Express Tribune". 7 June 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. "The Nuclear Shadow over Karachi". 17 March 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  9. "Pakistan Breaks Ground on Nuclear Plant Project With China". The New York Times. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  10. China commits $6.5 billion for nuclear power project in Karachi
  11. Worldcrunch.com. "Local Fallout From Pakistan". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  12. "Nuclear reactors worry Pakistan's fishers - All media content - DW.COM - 20.03.2014". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  13. "PM Sharif in Karachi, inaugurates KANUPP-2 power project". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
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