Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab on Thursday with an appeal to the international community to stop discriminating between nations and allow Pakistan access to nuclear technology for power generation.

The second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant — CHASNUPP-2 — built in collaboration with China is expected to produce 330 MW of electricity and bring some relief from the power shortages being faced across the country. This is the third nuclear power plant in Pakistan, the first being in Karachi which began commercial operations in 1972.

Stating that Pakistan has and would consistently comply with the requirements of nuclear safeguard agreements mandated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Gilani said: “Building and operating nuclear power plants is something vital to the interest of the people of Pakistan because our country is suffering from severe energy deficiency and needs more power plants.''

Beijing’s support

About Pakistan-China cooperation, Mr. Gilani said Beijing's continuing support in international fora was a continuous source of strength for the country. In the wake of increased criticism that Pakistan has been drawing from worldover since March 2 for the presence of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the country, China rejected the charge that Islamabad had not done enough to battle terrorism.

The CHASNUPP-2 – a single-unit plant of 300 MWe Class – will include a two-loop pressurised water reactor nuclear steam supply system furnished by the China National Nuclear Corporation. In March this year, the IAEA Board – of which India is also a member -- gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors that China plans to build for Pakistan at Chashma.

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