The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said that cold pressure testing had been successfully conducted at the Karachi Unit 3 reactor in Pakistan, a milestone that was witnessed by the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
CNNC called the Hualong 1000 reactor the country’s “national business card,” calling attention to the high hopes the model will become a fully realized export commodity. The Karachi NPP Units 2 and 3 are the first HPR1000 exports, constructed under a $9 billion contract signed with PAEC in 2013.
Unit 2 was completed in 2019 and reached first criticality in February, followed by its connection to the grid on March 18, according to Nuclear Engineering International.
“Hualong One is China’s third-generation nuclear power technology with full intellectual property rights,” said CNNC. It is designed with an operational lifespan of 60 years. The reactor “adopts a 177-core design that replenishes fuel every 18 months and has a utilization rate of over 90 percent.” Safety features for the reactor use both passive and active technologies along with double containment.
Cold pressure testing puts the plant through operation conditions minus rising temperatures. The primary outcome is approval of the integrity of the reactor’s primary loop.
The K-3 unit is expected to become commercially viable in 2022. The K-2 unit is expected to reach full commercial status this year.
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