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China To Set Up A New Giant Nuclear Plant For Pak

 Beijing/Washington, Sep 21 : Unfazed by global concerns, Beijing and Islamabad are in talks to set up a new giant one gigawatt atomic power plant in Pakistan, as China is set to expand its investment
PTI September 21, 2010 13:56 IST
PTI
 Beijing/Washington, Sep 21 : Unfazed by global concerns, Beijing and Islamabad are in talks to set up a new giant one gigawatt atomic power plant in Pakistan, as China is set to expand its investment in nuclear power generation by nearly USD 120 billion over the next decades.

 Qiu Jiangang, Vice President of the state run China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), which has already helped built Pakistan's main nuclear facility at Chashma in Punjab province, said his company was in talks to set up another giant nuclear plant in Pakistan, 'Wall Street Journal' reported.

 "Both sides are in discussion over the CNNC exporting a one gigawatt nuclear plant to Pakistan", he told a meeting in Beijing without giving any details.

 Besides the main plant at Chashma, the Chinese company is completing a second reactor there and has contracts to build two more 300 megawatt reactors.

Qiu said, that the first reactor was operating safely and the second one was being tested and expected to start formal operations by the end of the year.

US and India have both expressed concern after China signed a deal in February to build the additional two 300-MW reactors.

Quoting US officials, 'Wall Street Journal' said, such plans required special exemption from the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which China joined in 2004 and which is supposed to regulate the global nuclear trade.

The paper said, Vann H Van Diepen, the US acting assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation had suggested before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in July that the US would vote against such an exemption.

Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and there are concerns by US, Western Nations and India that Pakistan's nuclear material may fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and Taliban who are based close to the Pakistani capital.

The Chinese plans to export yet another nuclear plant to Pakistan comes as Beijing has unveiled plans to invest nearly USD 120 billion to increase nuclear power generation to 70-80 gigawatts by 2020, the 'China Daily' reported today.

The paper said to fund the new spending spree CNNC would list its subsidiary CNNC Nuclear Power Co Ltd.

 China has stepped up investment in nuclear power in an effort to slash its carbon emissions and reduce the nations reliability on coal for energy needs.

 The daily said China which has emerged as the world's second largest economy was aiming to produce 15 per cent of its power demand from nuclear energy.

 China has 11 nuclear power reactors in operation with a capacity of 9.1 gigawatt and the country aims to increase this to 70-80 gigawatts by 2020. PTI