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Pakistan keen on buying nuclear reactors

Pakistan said it was interested in buying nuclear reactors from China and elsewhere to meet its energy needs.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2006 15:09 IST

Pakistan said on Thursday it was interested in buying nuclear reactors from China and elsewhere to meet its growing energy needs, but denied a report that it was engaged in talks with Beijing to buy up to eight reactors.

"We are interested in purchasing nuclear power reactors because our economy is growing and so is the energy requirement," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam.

"We are not only interested in purchasing them from China, but also from the West," she said, adding that any nuclear facility established would be run within the safeguards of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

It was earlier reported that Pakistan was in talks to buy up to eight nuclear reactors from China for between $7 billion and $10 billion, but Aslam said the report was "incorrect".

An unnamed senior Pakistani official was quoted as saying that construction work on the nuclear plants could start by 2015 and end 10 years later. It said the new power stations would add 3,600-4,800 MW of capacity using a series of 600 MW reactors.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz formally launched construction last week of a Chinese-supplied nuclear plant at Chashma in the eastern province of Punjab.

Pakistan already has one nuclear power plant supplied by China and another that was supplied by Canada.

In September, Pakistan called on the United States and other Western countries to help it develop civilian nuclear technology that would meet its expanding energy needs.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 14:26 IST