(Updated 2019)


This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Pakistan and includes factors relating to effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme, which together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Pakistan.

There are five operating nuclear power plants and two under construction in Pakistan. The nuclear power technology infrastructure and domestic workforce is poised to support expansion of the State’s nuclear power programme.



1.1.1. Energy policy

The National Power Policy 2013, issued by the Government of Pakistan, aims to develop an efficient and consumer centric power generation, transmission and distribution system that meets the needs of the people and boosts the economy in a sustainable and affordable manner. The goals of the policy are explicitly defined, as are the targets and how they will be met to gauge the success of the policy. Targets include: eliminating load shedding; decreasing the average cost of electricity generation to below Pak Rupees 10/kW·h; decreasing transmission and distribution losses from 23–25% to 16%; increasing revenue collection from 85% to 95%; and reducing the time required to a minimum for decision making at the ministry level and other related departments.

Over the years, the Government has formulated several policies for the power sector development. The aims of which have been to eliminate inefficiencies in existing generation, transmission and distribution systems. This is in addition to diversification of generation mix to include maximum utilization of indigenous energy resources, including hydro, coal, nuclear and renewables. However, implementation of these policies has still resulted in a supply–demand gap and load shedding.

In 2015, the Government issued the Power Generation Policy 2015 to facilitate private investment in the power sector. The policy offers the private sector incentives not only to set up new power generation projects but also to invest in public sector power generation projects in a different phase of development, or those that are already developed and are looking for divestment. The objectives of this policy are to have sufficient power generation capacity in Pakistan at the minimum cost, prioritize the use of indigenous resources, facilitate all stakeholders and safeguard the environment.

1.1.2. Estimated available energy

Pakistan’s energy resources comprise fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil), uranium and renewables (hydropower, wind, solar and biomass). The fossil fuel reserves and the potential of renewable energy of Pakistan are listed in Table 1.


  Fossil fuels Nuclear Renewable
Solida Liquidb Gasc Uranium Hydrod Other renewablese
Total amount in specific unitsf 7775.5 44.6 16.0 g 53 50
Total amount in exajoules (EJ) 154.0 2.0 15.2 g 2.5 1.4

Source: See Refs [1, 2].

a Solid consists of only coal. It has been converted to energy at 19.8 GJ/tonne.

b Liquid consists of crude only. It has been converted to energy at 44.2 GJ/tonne.

c Natural gas has been converted to energy at 950 GJ/million cubic feet.

d Hydropower potential has been converted to annual energy resource at 50% plant factor and 10 550 GJ/GW·h.

e Wind power potential has been converted to annual energy resource at 30% capacity factor and 10 550 GJ/GW·h.

f Specific units: for solid and liquid, million tonnes; for gas, trillion cubic feet; and for hydro and wind, GW.

g —: data not available.

The country has meagre oil resources and indigenous oil production is insufficient to meet domestic demand, which requires the import of crude oil and other oil products in large quantities to meet more than 80% of oil demand.

Natural gas reserves are also limited and are quickly depleting owing to increasing demand. This trend has forced the Government to develop new exploratory wells to increase the national gas cache, and in parallel, seek short term and long term alternatives, such as importing liquefied natural gas and piped gas.

Discovered in the early 1990s at Thar, a large coal reserve is under development and will play a vital role in the energy sector before 2020. Importing coal for electricity generation has also recently begun.

The estimated total hydropower potential of Pakistan is around 60 000 MW, of which less than 12% is currently exploited, and around 53 000 MW is still to be harnessed. Hydropower potential is concentrated in the northern, mountainous region of the country, located far from load centres and is generally tough terrain. The high investment cost to install hydro plants, development of an electricity transmission network and resettlement of the affected population are some of the reasons that hydropower has not been exploited to its full capacity.

Pakistan has wind corridors that can accommodate about 50 000 MW [3] of wind based capacity and the potential for solar power is also high, as sunlight is available abundantly almost throughout the country. The role of these renewable resources is expected to increase gradually.

1.1.3. Energy statistics

Energy supply statistics are given in Table 2. In 2007–2017, indigenous oil production was about 64 000–95 000 barrels per day (equivalent to about 17–21% of the country’s oil consumption). Pakistan’s natural gas production in the fiscal year 2016–2017(1) was 4032 million cubic feet per day.

In 2016–2017, coal production was 4.2 million tonnes, while 7 million tonnes of coal was imported to meet the industrial requirements of the country. The development of the coal mining industry in Pakistan, particularly for power generation, is hampered by constraints relating to the quality of coal, mining difficulties and other organizational constraints.

In 2016–2017, hydropower provided 26% of the electricity in Pakistan. Additional hydro projects varying in size, ranging from medium to micro, are under construction, and the capacity of some existing hydro projects is being extended. Meanwhile, there are medium and large hydroelectric projects proposed or are being planned and are awaiting official decision.

Nuclear power generation contributed 5.7% to the total electricity generation of Pakistan in 2016–17. At present, the country has five operational nuclear power plants that have a cumulative generating capacity of 1430 MW, while two reactors are under construction.


Compound avg. annual growth rate 2000–2017 (%)
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2017
Total energy consumption (EJ) 0.67 1.24 1.90 2.78 3.09 3.32 3.3
Solids 0.06 0.09 0.09 0.20 0.22 0.29 7.0
Liquids 0.20 0.50 0.83 0.88 1.12 1.25 2.4
Gases 0.25 0.47 0.77 1.36 1.32 1.53 3.3
Nuclear a 0.003 0.004 0.03 0.06 0.07 18.3
Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.20 0.30 0.35 0.34 3.2
Other renewables a a a a 0.01 0.03
Total energy production (EJ) 0.46 0.83 1.17 1.91 2.03 2.07 3.4
Solids 0.03 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.08 1.6
Liquids 0.02 0.12 0.13 0.15 0.22 0.21 3.1
Gases 0.25 0.47 0.77 1.36 1.32 1.33 3.3
Nuclear - 0.003 0.004 0.03 0.06 0.07 18.3
Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.20 0.30 0.34 0.34 3.1
Other renewables a a a a 0.01 0.03
Net imports (imports - exports) (EJ) 0.22 0.41 0.73 0.87 1.06 1.45 3.2

Source: See Ref. [1].

Notes: Years are fiscal (i.e. from 1 July–30 June). Energy consumption = primary energy production + net imports (imports - exports). Solid fuel consists of coal and lignite.

a Less than 0.005 EJ.


Since its inception, the power sector of Pakistan has been under the ownership of two public utilities: the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC). While KESC, which has since been privatized and rebranded as K-Electric, is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electric power for Karachi city and its surrounding areas, WAPDA oversees the rest of the country’s electricity affairs. However, the sharply rising demand for electricity at the turn of the 21st century surpassed all expansion expectations, and the electricity generation infrastructure was inadequate to keep up with demand. Among other factors responsible for this failure were financial limitations and a lack of adequate management. The performance of the power sector continually deteriorated owing to institutional weaknesses and a tariff structure with subsidies. To improve performance, a new institutional framework was created.

Under the new framework, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) was established as an independent regulator to ensure a transparent, competitive and commercially oriented power market in Pakistan. The Power Wing of WAPDA was unbundled into four public sector generation companies (GENCOs), ten distribution companies and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) was established to facilitate private investment in the power sector. Creation of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) allowed the entity to oversee development of renewable energy resources.

Development of nuclear power is the responsibility of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

1.2.1. Decision making process

The overall planning of the electricity system is under the control of the National Economic Council (NEC), which is responsible for ensuring balanced development activities in the country. It was created in December 1962 under Art. 145 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The NEC is headed by the prime minister and its members include federal ministers, the governors/chief ministers of the provinces, and the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission is the chief instrument for formulating national plans, while the Energy Wing of the Planning Commission formulates energy plans. The NTDC formulates detailed short and long term national electricity system expansion plans. The NEC approves all plans and policies relating to the development of the energy and electricity sector. The Executive Committee of the NEC supervises implementation of the energy policy laid down by the Government, and approves the building of all public sector energy projects.

1.2.2. Structure of the electric power sector

The Power Division of the Ministry of Energy is responsible for the development of water and power resources. It also handles all issues relating to electricity generation, transmission, distribution and pricing. The Ministry exercises this function through respective organizations. It also performs certain specific functions such as coordination of power sector plans, formulation of policies and specific incentives, and liaises with provincial governments on all related issues.

The following entities are major stakeholders in the electricity sector. Public sector generation companies

There are four GENCOs operating in Pakistan. The Jamshoro Power Company (GENCO-I) has two plants with a combined generation capacity of 1024 MW. The Central Power Generation Company (GENCO-II), with a total generation capacity of 2437 MW, also has two generation plants. The Northern Power Generation Company (GENCO-III), with a capacity of 2151 MW, includes four generation plants. The Lakhra Power Generation Company (GENCO-IV) has only one coal powered plant, in Lakhra, with 150 MW capacity. Water and Power Development Authority

WAPDA is responsible for planning and execution of large hydropower projects. At present, WAPDA operates at a 6902 MW hydropower capacity. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

The PAEC is responsible for planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants. Presently, a total of 1430 MW of nuclear capacity is installed, comprising five nuclear power plants: the Karachi nuclear power plant (KANUPP, originally 137 MW, de-rated 100 MW), C-1 (325 MW), C-2 (325 MW), C-3 (340 MW) and C-4 (340 MW). National Transmission and Despatch Company

The NTDC is responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining the electricity transmission infrastructure, which comprises transmission lines of 220 kV and 500 kV, and grid stations linking power plants across the country. It also provides services to the distribution companies in designing and construction of 132 kV transmission lines and grid stations. Distribution companies

There are currently 11 electricity distribution companies operating in the country:

  • Peshawar Electric Supply Company;

  • Islamabad Electric Supply Company;

  • Gujranwala Electric Power Company;

  • Lahore Electric Supply Company;

  • Faisalabad Electric Supply Company;

  • Multan Electric Power Company;

  • Hyderabad Electric Supply Company;

  • Quetta Electric Supply Company;

  • Sukkur Electric Power Company;

  • Tribal Areas Electricity Supply Company;

  • K-Electric.

With the exception of K-Electric, all the companies are public entities. K-Electric is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of power to the city of Karachi and the surrounding areas (Uthal and Bela district) and was privatized. It owns and operates 2734 MW of electricity generation capacity. Private Power and Infrastructure Board

The PPIB provides support to the private sector in implementing conventional power generation projects, including hydropower projects of more than 50 MW capacity. In Pakistan, 31 thermal independent power producers (IPPs) with a total installed capacity of 12 427 MW, and 5 hydro IPPs with a total installed capacity of 213 MW are operational. Alternative Energy Development Board

The AEDB is responsible for promoting and facilitating exploitation of the renewable energy resources in Pakistan. As of May 2018, 15 wind power plants with a total capacity of 782 MW were operational. Seven more wind power plants, with a total capacity of 348 MW, are under construction (see Refs [4, 5]). Furthermore, 400 MW of installed capacity, based on solar, is operating in the country. Regulators

The regulators include:

  1. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is responsible for: (i) granting licences for the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power; (ii) determining electricity tariffs for the consumers, transmitters, distributors and producers; and (iii) prescribing and implementing performance standards for generation, transmission and distribution companies.

  2. The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) is responsible for granting licences to all nuclear installations in the country, including nuclear power plants. The PNRA formulates and implements effective regulations to ensure safe operation of all nuclear installations, including nuclear power plants.

  3. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) is responsible for regulating and monitoring the distribution of water sources of the Indus River in accordance with the Water Accord among the provinces. The Indus River hosts major hydropower plants.

1.2.3. Main indicators

Table 3 reports the data of electricity production and installed capacity in the country since 1980, and Table 4 provides some vital energy related ratios.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2017 Compound avg. annual growth rate 2000–2017 (%)
Capacity of electrical plants (GW) G/N
Thermal G 1.79 4.83 12.44 13.32 15.54 20.88 3.1
Hydro G 1.57 2.90 4.83 6.56 7.03 7.12 2.3
Nuclear G 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.46 0.75 1.43 14.8
Renewables G a 0.44 1.82
Total G 3.50 7.86 17.40 20.34 23.76 31.24 3.5
Electricity production (TW·h) G/N
Thermal G 6.17 20.72 46.06 64.37 67.89 81.27 3.4
Hydro G 8.72 16.93 19.29 28.51 32.47 32.18 3.1
Nuclear G a 0.29 0.40 2.89 5.80 7.00 18.4
Renewables G a 0.80 3.16
Total G 14.89 37.94 65.75 95.77 106.97 123.61 3.8
Total electricity consumption (TW·h) 10.35 28.77 45.59 74.35 85.82 95.53 4.4

Source: See Refs [1, 3, 5].

Note: G/N (gross/net) electricity production. Years are fiscal (1 July–30 June). Electricity transmission and distribution losses are not deducted.

a Less than 0.01 TW·h.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2017
Energy consumption (GJ/capita) 8.4 11.4 13.8 16.0 16.1 16.9
Electricity consumption (kW·h/capita) 129 266 332 429 448 456
Electricity production/Energy production (%) 11.8 16.5 20.2 18.0 19.0 21.5
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) a 0.8 0.6 3.0 5.4 5.7
Ratio of external dependency (%) 32.0 33.0 38.5 31.2 34.2 41.1

Source: Based on the data in Tables 1–3.

Note: Years are fiscal (1 July–30 June). Energy consumption does not include wood. Self-generation is not included in electricity production and consumption. Electricity has been converted to energy by using the conversion factor 1 GW·h = 3.6 TJ. External dependency is the ratio of net import to total energy consumption.

a Less than 0.1 %



2.1.1. Overview

The PAEC was established in 1955. The Ordinance for the PAEC was promulgated by the president of Pakistan and later approved by the National Assembly in 1965. The functions of the PAEC include research work necessary for the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the fields of agriculture, medicine and industry, and the execution of development projects, including nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity. The PAEC is guided by instructions from the Government.

2.1.2. Current organization structure

The PAEC has a chairman and nine full time members (see Fig. 1).

FIG. 1. Organizational chart of the PAEC.


Pakistan started construction of its first nuclear power plant, KANUPP, in 1966. The plant was connected to the national grid on 18 October 1972. KANUPP, a pressurized heavy water reactor of 137 MW gross capacity was constructed by Canadian General Electric under a turnkey contract. In 1976, vendor support for spare parts and fuel was withdrawn. The PAEC undertook the task of indigenously manufacturing the required spare parts and nuclear fuel on an emergency basis, and since 1980, KANUPP has successfully operated using fuel manufactured by the PAEC.

Despite the keen interest of Pakistan in building additional nuclear plants, it took more than two decades before the second nuclear power plant started construction. This delay was due to Pakistan’s lack of access to international nuclear technology coupled with a lack of indigenous industrial infrastructure. The construction of Pakistan’s second nuclear plant, C-1, a pressurized water reactor (PWR), was made possible in 1993 with the help of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The plant was connected to the national grid on 13 June 2000 and has a gross capacity of 325 MW. A third nuclear power plant, C-2, with 325 MW gross capacity started commercial operation on 18 May 2011. The fourth unit, C-3, started commercial operation on 6 December 2016. It has a gross capacity of 340 MW and a similar plant, C-4, sited beside C-3, was connected to the grid on 25 June 2017. The first concrete pours to mark the start of construction of Karachi Coastal Power Project, a project containing two nuclear units, K-2 and K-3 (1100 MW each), based on an improved PWR design, were 20 August 2015 and 31 May 2016, respectively.

2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants

Table 5 reports the status and performance of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.


Reactor Unit Type Net
Status Operator Reactor
First Grid
CHASNUPP-1 PWR 300 Operational PAEC CNNC 1993-08-01 2000-05-03 2000-06-13 2000-09-15 79.5
CHASNUPP-2 PWR 300 Operational PAEC CNNC 2005-12-28 2011-02-22 2011-03-14 2011-05-18 88.2
CHASNUPP-3 PWR 315 Operational PAEC CNNC 2011-05-28 2016-08-01 2016-10-15 2016-12-01 81.5
CHASNUPP-4 PWR 313 Operational PAEC CNNC 2011-12-18 2017-03-15 2017-07-01 2017-09-19 97.3
KANUPP-1 PHWR 90 Operational PAEC CGE 1966-08-01 1971-08-01 1971-10-18 1972-12-07 37.5
KANUPP-2 PWR 1014 Under Construction PAEC CZEC 2015-08-20 2020-06-01 2020-07-31 2020-07-31
KANUPP-3 PWR 1014 Under Construction PAEC CZEC 2016-05-31
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

Note: CGE — Canadian General Electric; CNNC — China National Nuclear Corporation; const. — construction; PAEC — Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission; PHWR — pressurized heavy water reactor; PWR — pressurized water reactor.

a n.a.: not applicable.

2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals

KANUPP, the oldest of the nuclear fleet of Pakistan, was designed to operate for 30 years. While its design life ended in 2002, the PAEC worked on its life extension well before that time. Plant monitoring and periodic inspection indicated that major plant equipment, including fuel channels, steam generators, steam condensers, turbine generators, primary heat transport pumping and feeders, were all determined to be in good condition.

The project Safe Operation of KANUPP was undertaken with technical support from the IAEA to ensure safe operation by averting plant degradation due to ageing by introducing and adopting modern operational practices, in addition to improving the design to some extent. This project later extended to Improve Safety Features of KANUPP and finally to Long Term Safety of KANUPP.

Under a comprehensive balancing, modernization and rehabilitation project, conventional equipment of KANUPP was upgraded (e.g. building chillers, service air compressors, power cables, condenser tubing, boiler cleaning and rehabilitation). KANUPP also undertook the replacement of its obsolete regulating computers, control and instrumentation under the technological upgrade project, in which most of the critical control and instrumentation loops and computers were replaced.

Various inspections and reviews of KANUPP were carried out after rehabilitation by international experts. On fulfilling the regulatory requirements of the PNRA, KANUPP was granted a licence to operate until 31 December 2010, but at a lower power level of 90 MW. The operation of KANUPP restarted in January 2004 and the refurbished plant operated safely after its makeover.

The plant was then shut down on 20 November 2010 for planned maintenance. The shutdown period was later extended to 6 June 2011 to complete tasks required for another licence renewal. The major jobs carried out during this outage were: a fuel channel integrity assessment; assessing the habitability of the emergency control centre; steam generator water lancing; and making available a critical safety parameter display system. After completion of these specified jobs, the PNRA issued a permit on 6 June 2011 to allow KANUPP to operate up to a power level of 98 MW. In May 2013, KANUPP’s gross capacity was formally de-rated from 137 MW to 100 MW, effective from January 2004.

After the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Fukushima Response Action Plan was formulated for all the nuclear power plants in the country. Under the plan internal safety reviews were carried out, the design safety of future plants was enhanced, safety against external hazards was upgraded and emergency response programmes were strengthened.

2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process

No nuclear power plant has yet been permanently shut down or is in a decommissioning phase in Pakistan.


2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy

The Energy Security Plan formulated by the Government set a target of 8800 MW of tangible nuclear power generation capacity by 2030 (see Ref. [6]). The PAEC went about this target with the core idea of improving indigenization capability in nuclear power technology. This will not only reduce costs and save on foreign exchange but also reduce dependence on external elements and expand the nation’s industrial and technological foundations.

The PAEC is planning a 1100 MW PWR, construction of which is expected to start in 2020 and planned commercial operation in 2027.

2.3.2. Project management

The existing nuclear power plants of Pakistan and those under construction are turnkey projects. During construction and installation of operating plants (KANUPP, C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4) and plants currently under construction (K-2 and K-3), the PAEC is involved in various project management activities. This experience will help the PAEC to manage the construction phase of future nuclear power plants. An engineering design organization was also established for providing design and engineering services to the operational nuclear plants and those under construction, which will act as architect engineer for future plants.

2.3.3. Project funding

The existing nuclear power plants of Pakistan and those under construction were funded through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of the Government. The funding for future nuclear power plants will be available from PSDP allocation for the power sector, income from sale of electricity from operational nuclear power plants, and export credit from the supplier(s).

2.3.4. Electric grid development

The construction, expansion and upgrading of the national electric grid are the responsibilities of the NTDC.

2.3.5. Sites

The PAEC conducted detailed studies for all sites existing nuclear power plants and those under construction. The sites meeting regulatory requirements of the PNRA have been selected, and they have the capability to accommodate additional nuclear units. Additional sites are being investigated for suitability to expand the nuclear power programme.

2.3.6. Public awareness

Public awareness is enhanced through seminars, workshops, and electronic and print media.


The PAEC, CNNC and PNRA are involved in various phases in construction of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.


The PAEC, PNRA, NTDC, NEPRA and CCPA (Central Power Purchasing Agency) are involved in the operation of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.


The PAEC and PNRA will be involved in decommissioning nuclear power plants in Pakistan.


The PAEC initiated nuclear fuel cycle activities with a modest prospecting programme in the early 1960s. A number of promising areas were located, some of which are presently being explored. An ore processing plant, using indigenous ore, is currently in operation. Essential laboratory facilities were also built to support the exploration and ore process development work. Fuel for KANUPP is fabricated by the PAEC.

Appropriate radioactive waste management systems were designed for KANUPP and CHASNUPP sites to remove radioactive waste arising from the plants. The radioactive waste management systems collect, store, allow sufficient radioactive decay and process the waste through filtration, ion exchange, evaporation, solidification, vitrification and drumming.

In addition, a project was started to develop spent fuel dry storage facility to extend the life of KANUPP. This facility will also provide interim spent fuel storage of future nuclear power plants at this site.


2.8.1. Research institutes

The PAEC has the following research institutes:

  • The Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology engages in basic and applied research in physics, chemistry, materials, safety, radioisotope applications and radiation protection.

  • The Instrumentation Control and Computers Complex oversees instrumentation and control of nuclear power plants, simulators and plant computer systems.

  • An engineering design organization provides design and engineering services to operational under construction and future nuclear power plants.

Pakistan has two research reactor facilities: PARR-1 (10 MW); and PARR-2 (30 kW).

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies

Pakistan seeks to develop its capacity building of small and medium sized reactor (SMR) technology. In support of this effort, some cost free experts from the PAEC were posted for 6–12 months in the IAEA.

In December 2016, the IAEA Technical Meeting on Design and Operation Aspects of Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Type SMRs was held in Islamabad. Seven foreign and 35 Pakistani participants from various establishments of the PAEC attended the technical meeting.

2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives

Pakistan is a member of the IAEA, the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the CANDU Owners Group and receives assistance from their programmes for enhancement of safety and reliability of nuclear power plants.

2.8.4. Human resource development

The PAEC manages its human resources through its Directorate of Human Resource Development, which plans the assured availability of human resources, keeping in view workforce requirements from different projects.

The PAEC is self-sufficient in producing competent human resources in a sustainable manner to support its nuclear power programme. The PAEC fulfils its human resource requirements for existing and future nuclear power plants and nuclear research facilities through its Human Resource Development Institutes (HRDIs).

For non-nuclear technologies, the PAEC prefers to hire from a pool of nationally approved and chartered universities and technical and vocational training institutes. Apart from specialized fields such as nuclear sciences, HRDIs train the recruited young scientists, engineers and technicians in multiple disciplines, whose curriculum is upgraded regularly to meet the current and upcoming challenges associated with the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

2.8.5. Humans resource development institutions Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences

PIEAS is one of the leading engineering universities in Pakistan. It provides the core human resources for the PAEC to develop its programmes in science, engineering and nuclear medicine. PIEAS offers postgraduate and PhD programmes in various engineering and science disciplines of nuclear technology. It also offers Bachelor level programmes in electrical, mechanical and computer engineering. In addition to degree programmes, PIEAS also conducts management courses for middle and senior management officials and organizes training courses in various specialized areas. PIEAS has been ranked as a top engineering university by QS World University Ranking for Asia (2014, 2015) and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (2006, 2010, 2013). Karachi Institute of Power Engineering

KINPOE offers a postgraduate degree programme in nuclear power engineering and a one year diploma in nuclear technology to engineering and science graduates. It also offers a post-diploma training programme in nuclear technology for technicians. CHASNUPP Centre of Nuclear Training

CHASCENT conducts one year training in nuclear power plant technology to engineers and technicians. It also provides post-diploma training programmes to technicians and retraining of plant operation personnel to meet licensing requirements. National Centre for Non-Destructive Testing

The NCNDT provides training in non-destructive testing techniques to engineers and technicians of the PAEC and industry. Pakistan Welding Institute

The PWI provides training in industrial welding techniques to professionals of the PAEC and industry.


The PAEC has well established communication with national and international stakeholders (e.g. IAEA, NEPRA, PNRA and WANO).


Submitting an emergency preparedness plan to the PNRA is a mandatory prerequisite for the licensee. These requirements include potential classification of a nuclear emergency, urgent protective actions, information and instructions to the general public, medical response management, protective measures for the general public, workers and agriculture, and conducting recovery operations.

The emergency response plan needs to be clearly determined not only for the plant personnel but also for people, the environment and property that lie in the declared emergency zone according to the accident classification. The plan is unique for every installation and involves coordination among many city administration offices already on board and trained for the worst potential scenario. Scheduled emergency scenarios that simulate different levels of disaster situation are periodically exercised to strengthen the coordination of the parties involved in the plan.



3.1.1. Regulatory authority

With the promulgation of the PNRA Ordinance in January 2001, the PNRA was established as an independent nuclear regulatory body for regulation of nuclear safety and radiation protection in Pakistan. The PNRA Ordinance empowers it to devise, adopt, make and enforce regulations for the protection of workers, public and the environment against the harmful effects of ionizing radiations.

3.1.2. Licensing process

The PNRA has an elaborate licensing process that includes the following steps stipulated in Regulations for Licensing of Nuclear Installations in Pakistan – PAK/909 (Rev. 1):

  • Site registration;

  • Construction licence;

  • Permission for commissioning;

  • Permission to introduce nuclear material into the installation;

  • Operating licence;

  • Revalidation of operating licence;

  • Licensing beyond design life;

  • Licence for decommissioning of a nuclear installation or closure of a waste repository;

  • Removal from regulatory control.


The main law in nuclear power is the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2001. The main regulations include the following:

  • Pakistan Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Regulation 1990;

  • Regulations on Licensing Fee by Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority – (PAK/900);

  • Regulations on Transaction of Business of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority – (PAK/901);

  • Regulations on Radiation Protection – (PAK/904);

  • Regulations for Licensing of Nuclear Safety Class Equipment and Components Manufacturers – (PAK/907);

  • Regulations for the Licensing of Radiation Facilities other than Nuclear Installations – (PAK/908);

  • Regulations for Licensing of Nuclear Installation(s) in Pakistan – (PAK/909);

  • Regulations on the Safety of Nuclear Installations — Site Evaluation – (PAK/910);

  • Regulations on the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants — Design – (PAK/911);

  • Regulations on the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants — Quality Assurance – (PAK/912);

  • Regulations on the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants — Operation – (PAK/913);

  • Regulations on Management of a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency – (PAK/914);

  • Regulations on Radioactive Waste Management – (PAK/915);

  • Regulations for the Safe Transportation of Radioactive Material – (PAK/916);

  • Regulations on the Safety of Nuclear Research Reactor(s) Operation – (PAK/923);

  • Regulation on Decommissioning of Facilities using Radioactive Material – (PAK/930);

  • Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority Enforcement Regulation – (PAK/950);


  1. HYDROCARBON DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE OF PAKISTAN, Pakistan Energy Yearbook 2017, HDIP, Islamabad (2017).

  2. WATER AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, Hydro Potential in Pakistan (2013).

  3. NATIONAL ELECTRIC POWER REGULATORY AUTHORITY, State of Industry Report 2017, NEPRA, Islamabad.


  5. NATIONAL TRANSMISSION AND DESPATCH COMPANY, Power System Statistics 2016–17, 42nd edn.

  6. PLANNING COMMISSION, Medium Term Development Framework 2005–2010, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad (2005).



Pakistan became a Member State of the IAEA on 2 May 1957 and has actively participated in the IAEA’s activities. Pakistan has benefited from the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Programme (TACP), and has also provided training to many scientists and engineers through TACP. Agreements with the IAEA are listed in Tables 6–9.


Pakistan Research Reactor-1 (PARR-1)
5 Mar. 1962
Project Agreements/Booster Rods for KANUPP
17 Jun. 1968
Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP)/Canada
17 Oct. 1969
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-1 (CHASNUPP-1)
24 Feb. 1993
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-2 (CHASNUPP-2)
22 Feb. 2007
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-3 & 4 (CHASNUPP-3 & 4)
15 Apr. 2011
Supply of Karachi Nuclear Power Plants-2 & 3 (K-2/K-3)
3 May 2017



Supply of miniature source reactor PARR-2
10 Sep. 1991


Additional Protocol Not signed
Improved procedure for designation of safeguards inspectors 20 Dec. 1988
Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA 16 Apr. 1963
Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (RCA) 6 Sep. 1974


Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
12 Oct. 1989
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
12 Oct. 1989
Convention on Nuclear Safety
29 Dec. 1997
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
12 Oct. 2000
Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
8 May 2016
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
Not signed
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Joint Protocol relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention

Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage

Not singed
Zangger Committee

Nuclear Suppliers Group
Acceptance of Nuclear Safety Standards (NUSS) codes
Decision on adoption of IAEA NUSS
May 1981



Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), P.O. Box 1114,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel.: +92 51 9209032-37
Fax: +92 51 9204908
Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), P.O. Box 1912,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel.: +92 51 9263001 6
Fax: +92 51 9263007

Coordinator Information

Dr. Ishtiaq Hussain Bokhari,

Director (International Cooperation),

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box 1114, Islamabad, Pakistan,

Tel.: +92 51 9246034, Fax: +92 51 9208295

(1) In Pakistan, statistics are reported based on a fiscal year that starts from 1 July and ends on 30 June. The fiscal year 2016–2017 started on 1 July 2016 and ended on 30 June 2017.