Pakistan PM opens country’s fifth nuclear power plant

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant, developed in collaboration with China amid hopes that his government could end chronic power shortages this year.

Pakistan is one of the few developing countries pursuing atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, as it seeks to close an electricity shortfall that can stretch up to 7,000 MW in peak summer months, or around 32 per cent of total demand.

The 340-megawatt Chashma-IV reactor, located some 250 kilometres southwest of capital Islamabad, is the fourth built as part of a collaboration between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The previous power plant was inaugurated in December by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified on corruption charges last month.

“Ending of load-shedding is the highest priority of our government and the power projects of 10,000 megawatts would be completed by next June,” Abbasi told a ceremony broadcast live.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurating the country’s fifth nuclear power plant developed in collaboration with China. – AFP