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Pak finalises sites for China-aided N-plants

Ahead of Chinese president's visit, Pakistan has reportedly selected sites to set up six Beijing-aided 300-MW nuclear power projects.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2006 18:17 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit next month, Pakistan has reportedly selected sites to set up six Beijing-aided 300-MW nuclear power projects.

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has selected six sites for nuclear power plants in line with the recommendations of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a media report said on Tuesday.

The new plants were part of plans to increase the country's capacity to generate 8,800MW nuclear power by 2030, it said.

Earlier reports in both Pakistan and China said the two countries have reached an understanding to set up six nuclear power plants with Chinese help, details of which were expected to be announced during Hu's visit.

The six sites included Qadirabad-Bulloki link canal near Qadirabad headworks, Dera Ghazi Khan canal near Taunsa Barrage, Taunsa-Punjnad canal near Multan, Nara canal near Sukkur, Pat Feeder canal near Guddu and the Kabul river near Nowshera, The News daily reported on Tuesday.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri saidon Mondaythat Hu Jintao will visit Pakistan next month.

Pakistan has two Chinese aided nuclear power plants at Chashma in Punjab. While one 350 mw project is operational the other one is getting ready.

In addition to this it has a Canadian nuclear power reactor at Karachi.

Prior selection and evaluation of sites for nuclear power plants is mandatory for the implementation of the long-term nuclear power expansion programme which envisages a total nuclear capacity of 8,800MW by 2030, a senior official said.

The official said after the first phase of identifying the sites, the government will launch preliminary studies or investigation and in the last phase detailed investigation about the sites would be carried out.

"This process will cost Rs 150 million to be approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) which is to meet on October 19," he said.

China reportedly agreed to build the six more new nuclear power plants after the US spurned Pakistan's direct requests for an agreement similar to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

Pakistan wanted US and the EU to help it to construct 1000 MW nuclear power plants. It currently has the capacity to build plants of only 300 MW.

First Published: Oct 17, 2006 18:17 IST