China tops out Hualong One nuclear plant in Pakistan

Right on schedule, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) this week successfully lifted the large outer containment dome into place at Karachi Unit 2 in Pakistan.

It is the overseas debut of China’s homegrown third-generation HPR1000 reactor design, known as the Hualong One, which is currently being assessed for the new Bradwell B nuclear power station in Essex, UK.

In Karachi, ground broke in November 2012, and China lent $6.5bn to Pakistan to help fund the $9.6bn project. 

State-owned CNNC said the milestone, achieved 17 June, marks the end of general construction on Karachi Unit 2, and will be followed by containment and heat tests. 

The project is scheduled for completion next year, reports have said.

The HPR1000, China’s self-developed third-generation nuclear power technology, has a double containment design, with the outer containment providing secondary protection.

The outer dome is a 366-ton multi-surface shell made up of 63 prescribed components, the company said.

CNNC has four HPR1000 units under construction around the world, which make up the world’s only third-generation pressurised water reactor nuclear power project constructed according to schedule.

The HPR1000 reactor for Bradwell B in the UK, developed by another Chinese nuclear company, CGN, and France’s EDF, has reached Step 3 in the design assessment process that began in 2017. 

Image: The outer containment dome of Karachi Unit 2 is successfully installed on 17 June (CNNC)

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