Pakistan to set up 2 nuclear power plants.
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) plans to set up two more nuclear power plants with capacities of 300 and 600 megawatts (mw) in the coming years but is awaiting government approval, PAEC Chairman Pervez Butt said Tuesday, according to the official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).
''The projects are under consideration for formal approval with the government and the construction activity will commence in the near future,'' Butt told reporters visiting the 300-mw Chashma Nuclear Power Plant in the Mianwali district of Punjab Province, about 185 kilometers southwest of Islamabad.
Pakistan is already operating the Chinese-built Chashma nuclear power plant, which went critical in May 2000 and was inaugurated in March 2001, and the 137-mw Karachi nuclear power plant, located at Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast, which was supplied by Canada in 1972 and was overhauled in the mid-1990s.
Butt said that the new 600-mw and 300-mw power plants would be set up at Mianwali and at Karachi, respectively, adjacent to the two nuclear plants already in operation.
The PAEC chairman did not disclose which country would help build the new plants, but Pakistan and China have been holding talks on the issue and President Gen. Pervez Musharraf discussed it during his visit to Beijing last month.
Pakistan has reportedly been negotiating transfer of technology for indigenous assembly and manufacture of nuclear power plants.
Butt said Pakistan is self-sufficient in uranium and capable of manufacturing its own fuel for nuclear power plants.