Unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan has successfully reached full power operation, obtaining the milestone for the first time on March 31, the China National Nuclear Corporation said this week.
The unit, which is the fourth Hualong One reactor to become operational -- the second one outside of China -- is now a step closer toward the goal reaching commercial operation status, which is generally declared after 100 hours of operation at full power..
The first Hualong One reactors to become operational are Fuqing 5 and 6 in China, in the Fujian province. The units reached commercial operation status, respectively in January 2021 and March 2022.
Construction on Karachi 3, in the Pakistani province of Sindh, began in May 2016. It obtained first criticality on February 21, 2022, and was connected to the grid in early March.
Since then, the reactor has been put through ascension testing, which brings power up to various stages -- 25%, 30%, 50%, 75% and 87% -- prior to reaching full power. At each stage, the reactor's performance is assessed before power is pushed higher.
Karachi 2 obtained commercial operation status 11 months ago, in May 2021.
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