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Pakistan gets approval for new nuclear plant

IAEA has unanimously approved the safeguard agreement for Pakistan's Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2. The plant is a part of Pakistan's 'Energy Security Plan'.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 20:09 IST

The global atomic watchdog has approved an agreement with Pakistan for its second nuclear power plant, being built with Chinese assistance, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday unanimously approved the safeguards agreement for Pakistan's Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2, the ministry said in a statement.

"The approval of the agreement is a success for Pakistan and recognition of its non-proliferation commitments," it said and added that a similar safeguards agreement was also in place for Chashma-1 in the central Punjab province.

Chashma-2 is part of Pakistan's "Energy Security Plan", that envisages an increase in nuclear power generation from the current 425 mega watts to 8800 mega watts by 2030 to meet its growing energy demands, it said.

Pakistan is one of the only three non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty member states that enjoy the right of concluding such a safeguards agreement, it said.

Pakistan has already placed two research reactors and two nuclear power plants under the Agency's safeguards.

"Pakistan has been fulfilling its obligations in respect of these agreements and looks forward to continued cooperation with the Agency within the framework of the applicable safeguards agreements in future as well," it said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao currently visiting Pakistan said on Friday that Beijing would continue to help Pakistan with its nuclear power industry but did not announce any new deal with long-term ally Islamabad.

Pakistan's nuclear programme had been under the global spotlight after its former chief atomic scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted in 2004 that he had provided nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran.