Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday formally inaugurated the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (K-2) set up in collaboration with China and said generation of clean energy was important owing to Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change. The inaugural ceremony was held simultaneously via video-link at K-2 NPP, Karachi and in Beijing, China and also marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan was among the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change, adding that reversal of its fallout was vital to save coming generations. He said K-2 nuclear plant would greatly contribute to production of clean and cost-effective energy for the benefit of people and environment. He expressed satisfaction that with strenuous efforts of the Chinese and Pakistani engineers, the state-of-the-art K-2 nuclear facility would produce 1,100 mega watt electricity for national grid. He said Pakistan and China’s 30-year-long nuclear cooperation had resulted in materializing of several projects besides transfer of technology and technical expertise to the Pakistani scientists and manpower. Imran Khan said Pakistan valued its unique relationship with China which was equally strong at strategic, political and people-to-people levels. He said Pakistani nation regarded China as a friend that always stood with it in difficult and trying times. “We are fortunate to have China as our neighbour, a rising global power from which can learn a lot in multiple fields,” he said. He mentioned that China’s expertise in eradicating extreme poverty, fight against corruption and capacity to produce high-yielding crops and livestock were the examples to follow. The prime minister lauded the efforts of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in operationalization of nuclear power plants in the country. Chairman PAEC Muhammad Naeem said with inauguration of K-2 NPP, the PAEC was operating six nuclear power plants in the country – two located in Karachi, namely Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-1 (K-1) and Unit-2 (K-2), while four sited at Chashma in District Mianwali called Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1-4. He said under obligations of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the PAEC was at forefront of fighting climate change and was contributing around 12 percent electricity to national grid. The event was addressed by the Chinese and other foreign officials through video-link. Chairman China Atomic Authority Zhang KeJian said launch of the K-2 nuclear plant on the 70th diplomatic anniversary of Pakistan and China depicted their will that both countries were committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy for the socio-economic benefit of people. He said the nuclear projects would not only help generation of electricity but also produce thousands of jobs for the local people. Chairman China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Yu Jian Feng said technology transfer and the nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan would further achieve new heights. He said the nuclear facilities were being run under strict safety compliance. Director General IAEA in a video message said Pakistan’s longstanding collaboration with IAEA stretched back to 70s as the country pursued its nuclear programme under safety guidelines. To meet its rising energy needs, nuclear generation plants are important for Pakistan, he added. The K-2 nuclear plant has internal and external accident prevention ability and enhanced emergency response capability. The plant has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to a further 20 years. It is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors and an extended refuelling cycle. The construction of K-2 commenced in November 2013, whereas its fuel loading started on December 01, 2020, after approval from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). A series of cold and hot functional commissioning tests related to plant operation and safety were conducted, before achieving criticality at the end of February this year. After further reactor physics tests, the plant was connected to the national grid on March 18, 2021 for trial operation and power escalation tests, according to the information made available by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Earlier, the collective generation capacity of all PAEC operated NPPs was around 1,400 Mega Watts. The inauguration of K-2 with 1100 MW capacity will nearly double these figures, substantially improving the overall share of nuclear power in the energy mix. Meanwhile, Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 (K-3), with a similar capacity is also in the commissioning phase and is expected to start production during first quarter of 2022.