China-Pakistan Nuclear Energy Cooperation


China-Pakistan Nuclear Energy Cooperation

The role of nuclear energy in Pakistan’s national energy mix is set to significantly increase in the coming years as the country seeks to scale-up nuclear power to meet the rising energy demands of a growing population. In the backdrop of falling domestic gas production, gradual closure of inefficient oil-based power plants, and nominal addition of renewable energy projects of solar, wind and bio-mass, the nuclear energy has assumed greater significance for Pakistan’s future. Moreover, this energy is environmentally clean, affordable, reliable and sustainable, and thus ensures energy security at national level. Pakistan currently has five reactors with a total capacity of just over 1.3GW, but there are plans to expand this. Since 2013 Pakistan has pushed for a further 2.2GW of nuclear power with two new reactors, built with Chinese assistance, in Karachi. Although China has helped Pakistan in the nuclear energy sector as well, given the limitations facing Pakistan’s civilian nuclear program, particularly paucity of funds and the discrimination by the Western powers in allowing access to nuclear technology, the way forward is in developing self-sufficiency and expanding cooperation with China.

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