China surprised over news of sale of N-plants to Pak

A report last week claimed that Pakistan plans to buy two Chinese-made 1000 MW nuclear reactors for installation at Karachi.

Last Updated: Nov 14, 2011, 19:23 PM IST

Beijing: China on Monday expressed surprise over a report claiming that Pakistan plans to buy two Chinese-made 1000 MW nuclear reactors for installation at Karachi.

"May be you have more information than I (do). For example, to build two nuclear plants in Karachi? I haven’t heard about that and have no information to provide," Liu Weimin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a media briefing here.

He was responding to a question on a media report from Pakistan that Islamabad plans to buy two nuclear power plants with 2000 MW capacity to be installed at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant complex to address the country’s energy crisis.

Pakistan newspaper Express Tribune reported on November 11 that according to documents available with it, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are "likely to enter into an agreement to conduct a joint study to finalise design modifications, which would enable Pakistan to acquire two nuclear power plants, each having power generation capacity of 1,000 MW".

Instead Liu referred to China-Pakistan cooperation in building nuclear reactors at Chashma in Pakistan`s Punjab province.

"May be you are also interested in Chashma Nuclear plant which we have also given explanation from this podium (in the past). China and Pakistan`s cooperation in this regard is under the supervision of IAEA. Our cooperation is transparent and also abide by relevant international regulations," he said.

China initially built two nuclear power plants with capacity of around 300 MW at Chashma and is building two more reactors apparently of about 340 MW there.

In addition to this, China has expressed its commitment to build one gigawatt (1000 MW) nuclear reactor against which India and United States have expressed strong reservations as Beijing has not sought the approval of Nuclear Suppliers
Group NSG).

The move to build the reactor was interpreted as an attempt by China to mollify Pakistan in the backdrop India-US civil nuclear deal which Washington declined to accord the same to Islamabad.

PTI