(Updated 2020)


This report provides information on the status and development of the nuclear power programme 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 Country Nuclear Power Profile (CNPP) summarizes the organizational aspects of the nuclear power programme and provides information about the relevant legislative and regulatory framework in the country.

There are five operating nuclear power plants and two under construction in Pakistan. The nuclear power technology infrastructure and domestic workforce are poised to support the State’s nuclear power expansion programme of 8800 MW by the year 2030.


1.1. Energy Information

1.1.1. Energy Policy

The National Power Policy 2013 issued by the Government of Pakistan (herein referred to as Government) 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 of the country in a sustainable and affordable manner. The goals of the policy are explicitly defined, as are the resulting targets and the extent of meeting the targets that will in turn set metrics regarding the success of the policy. Targets of the prescribed policy include complete elimination of load shedding; decreasing the average cost of electricity generation to below 10 Pakistani Rupee /kWh; a decrease in transmission and distribution losses from 23 – 25% to 16%; an increase in revenue collection from 85% to 95%; and a reduction in the time required for decision making at the ministry level or other related departments to a minimum.

Over the years, the Government formulated several policies to develop the power sector. The aims of these policies covered the elimination of inefficiencies in existing generation, transmission and distribution systems and the diversification of the generation mix with maximum utilization of domestic energy resources including hydropower, coal, nuclear energy and renewable energy. However, shortcomings in policy implementation had resulted in a supply demand gap and load shedding.

In 2015, the Government issued a Power Generation Policy 2015 to facilitate private investment in the power sector. The policy offered incentives to the private sector to not only set up new power generation projects but to invest in public sector power generation projects across different phases of development or those already developed and looking for divestment. The objectives of this policy were to have sufficient least cost power generation capacity in the country, prioritizing utilization of indigenous resources, facilitating all stakeholders involved in the transaction and safeguarding the environment.

1.1.2. Estimated Available Energy

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


  Fossil Fuels Nuclear Renewable
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other Renewables
Total amount in specific units 7775.5 46.7 15.4 60 50
Total amount in exajoules (EJ) 154.0 2.1 14.6 2.8 1.4

—: data not available.


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

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

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

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

  5. Hydropower potential has been converted to annual energy resource at 50% plant factor and 10550 GJ/GWh.

  6. Wind power potential has been converted to annual energy resource at 30% capacity factor and 10550 GJ/GWh.

Sources: Refs [1] and [2].

The country has meagre oil reserves—domestic oil production meets about 20% of domestic oil needs. This necessitates import of crude oil and other oil products in large quantities to meet more than 80% of overall demand.

Natural gas reserves of the country are also limited and decreasing due to increasing demand. This has forced the Government to develop new exploratory wells to try to increase the national gas cache and in parallel, seek both short-term and long-term alternatives such as import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and piped gas. During financial year 2017–2018, 314 Million BTU LNG, worth around 2.5 billion USD, was imported.

In recent years, Pakistan opted to import of coal as a fuel of choice for generating electricity. Almost 2742 MW of coal based capacity was swiftly introduced in the electricity mix of the country, and with that, the import of coal for electricity generation also jumped significantly. Supply of electricity from the domestic Thar coal reserve has also recently begun and will see a significant increase once more plants are built and further exploitation of the resource is pursued.

The estimated total hydropower potential of Pakistan is around 60000 MW, where nearly 14% is currently exploited. Hydropower potential is concentrated in the northern mountainous region of the country, located far from load centres. The high investment cost for the installation of hydroplants, development of an electricity transmission network and resettlement of the affected population are a few reasons for hydropower not being exploited to its full capacity.

Pakistan has wind corridors that can accommodate about 50000 MW [3] of wind based capacity and the potential for solar power is also high, as sunlight is available abundantly throughout the country. The role of these renewable resources is expected to gradually increase.

1.1.3. Energy Statistics

Energy supply statistics are given in Table 2. During the past decade (2008–2018), domestic oil production has been at a level of about 64000 – 95000 barrels per day (equivalent to about 16 – 20% of the country’s oil consumption). Pakistan’s natural gas production in fiscal year (FY) 2017–18(1) was 3997 million cubic feet per day.

Coal production in 2017–18 was 4.3 million tonnes, while 13.7 million tonnes of coal was imported to meet the industrial and power requirements of the country. The development of the coal mining industry in Pakistan, particularly for power generation, is hampered by many constraints relating to the quality of coal, mining difficulties and organizational constraints.

During 2017–18, hydropower provided 21.2% of the total electricity in Pakistan. Some hydropower projects vary in size, ranging from medium to micro, are under construction, and the capacities of some existing hydropower projects are being extended. A number of medium and large hydropower projects are in the planning stage.

Nuclear power generation contributed 7.5% to the total electricity generation of Pakistan in 2017–18. At present, the country has five operational nuclear power plants with a cumulative generating capacity of 1430 MW, while 2200 MW is under construction.


Compound Average Annual Growth Rate
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2018 2000 to 2018
Energy consumption [EJ]
- Total 0.67 1.24 1.90 2.78 3.08 3.82 3.9%
- Solids 0.06 0.09 0.09 0.20 0.22 0.48 9.8%
- Liquids 0.20 0.50 0.83 0.88 1.12 1.24 2.2%
- Gases 0.25 0.47 0.77 1.36 1.32 1.65 4.3%
- Nuclear - 0.003 0.004 0.03 0.06 0.10 19.5%
- Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.20 0.30 0.35 0.30 2.2%
- Other Renewables - - - - 0.01 0.05
Energy production [EJ]
- Total 0.46 0.83 1.17 1.91 2.03 2.06 3.2%
- Solids 0.03 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.09 1.7%
- Liquids 0.02 0.12 0.13 0.15 0.22 0.22 3.1%
- Gases 0.25 0.47 0.77 1.36 1.32 1.32 3.0%
- Nuclear - 0.003 0.004 0.03 0.06 0.10 19.5%
- Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.20 0.30 0.34 0.29 2.1%
Other Renewables - - - - 0.01 0.04
Net Imports (Import–Export) [EJ] 0.22 0.41 0.73 0.87 1.06 1.75 5.0%

  • Less than 0.005 exajoule.


  1. Years in this table are fiscal (i.e. from 1 July–30 June).

  2. Energy consumption = primary energy production + net import (import–export).

  3. Solid fuel consists of coal and lignite.

Source: Ref. [1].

1.2. The Electricity System

1.2.1. Electricity System and Decision Making Process

Historically, the power sector of Pakistan has been under the ownership of two public utilities; the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC). KESC was responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electric power for Karachi city and its surrounding areas, while WAPDA was responsible for the country’s remaining electricity supply system. To improve the performance of power sector a new institutional framework was set up in late 1990s.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) was established in 1997, as an independent regulator, to ensure a transparent, competitive and commercially oriented power market in Pakistan. Following this, the Power Wing of WAPDA was unbundled into four Generation Companies (GENCOs), ten Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and one National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC). The KESC was privatized and rebranded as K-Electric.

The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) was established to facilitate private investment in the power sector. The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) was created to oversee development of renewable energy resources. Development of nuclear power remains the responsibility of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

The overall planning and decision-making process of the electricity system falls under the control of The National Economic Council (NEC), which is the body responsible for development activities in the country. Created in December 1962 under Article 145 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the NEC is headed by the Prime Minister. 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 in formulating the national plans, while the Energy Wing of the Planning Commission formulates energy plans based on information obtained from all concerned entities. NTDC formulates detailed short and long term national electricity system expansion plans. The NEC approves all plans and policies relating to development of the energy and electricity sector. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) supervises implementation of the energy policy laid down by the Government and approves any energy sector project to be built by the public sector.

1.2.2. Structure of Electric Power Sector

The Ministry of Energy is responsible for development of power resources, and the Ministry of Water Resources is responsible for water resources in the country. The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) handles all issues related 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 (GENCOs)

There are four public sector power generation companies operating in Pakistan. Jamshoro Power Co. Ltd (GENCO-I) has two plants with a combined generation capacity of 1024 MW. Central Power Generation Co. Ltd. (GENCO-II), with a total generation capacity of 2402 MW, also has two generation plants. Northern Power Generation Co. (GENCO-III), with a capacity of 2061 MW, includes four generation plants, and, finally, Lakhra Power Generation Co. Ltd. (GENCO-IV) has only one coal powered plant at Lakhra with 150 MW capacity. Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

Today, WAPDA is still responsible for planning and execution of large hydropower projects. At present, WAPDA operates at 8341 MW hydropower capacity. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)

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: KANUPP (100 MW, reduced from a designed capacity of 137 MW), CHASNUPP-1 (325 MW), CHASNUPP-2 (325 MW), CHASNUPP-3 (340 MW) and CHASNUPP-4 (340 MW). Two plants are under construction with 1100 MW installed capacity each. National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC)

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

There are currently eleven electricity distribution companies operating in the country. Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO), Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO), Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO), Tribal Areas Electricity Supply Company Ltd (TESCO) and K-Electric.

All these distribution companies, except K-Electric, are public entities. K-Electric, responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of power to the city of Karachi and surrounding areas (Uthal and Bela district), was privatized, and it owns and operates 2294 MW electricity generation capacity. Central Power Purchase Agency (CPPA)

CPPA is the electricity market operator in the country. The core function includes (i) settlement, (ii) power procurement on behalf of DISCOs, (iii) finance, (iv) legal and corporate affairs, (v) strategy and market development, (vi) monitoring and coordination. Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB)

PPIB provides support to the private sector in implementing conventional power generation projects, including hydropower projects with a capacity of more than 50 MW. In Pakistan, 38 thermal independent power producers (IPPs) with a total installed capacity of 15663 MW and 7 hydro IPPs with a total installed capacity of 372 MW are operational. Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB)

AEDB is responsible for promoting and facilitating the development of the renewable energy resources in Pakistan. As of June 2018, twenty wind power plants with a total capacity of 1048 MW were operating. Five more wind power plants with a total capacity of 247 MW are under construction (Refs [4], [5]). Furthermore, 430 MW of installed capacity, largely based on solar, is operating in the country. Regulators

  1. National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA)

    NEPRA is responsible for: (i) granting licenses 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. Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)

    PNRA is responsible for granting licenses to all nuclear installations in the country, including nuclear power plants. The Authority formulates and implements effective regulations to ensure safe operation of all nuclear installations, including nuclear power plants.

  3. Indus River System Authority (IRSA)

    IRSA is responsible for regulating and monitoring the distribution of water sources of the Indus River in accordance with the Water Accord amongst the provinces. The Indus River hosts all major domestic hydropower plants.

1.2.3. Main Indicators

Table 3 reports the data of electricity production and installed capacity in the country over the last four decades while the Table 4 provides some vital energy related ratios.


1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2019 Compound Annual Growth Rate
2000 to 2019
Capacity of electrical plants (GW) G/N
Thermal G 1.79 4.83 12.44 13.32 15.54 25.67 3.9%
Hydro G 1.57 2.90 4.83 6.56 7.03 9.76 3.8%
Nuclear G 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.46 0.75 1.43 13.0%
Renewables G - 0.44 2.25
Total G 3.50 7.86 17.40 20.34 23.76 39.11 4.4%
Electricity production (TWh) G/N
Thermal G 6.17 20.72 46.06 64.37 67.89 89.40 3.6%
Hydro G 8.72 16.93 19.29 28.51 32.47 33.10 2.9%
Nuclear G - 0.29 0.40 2.89 5.80 9.14 17.9%
Renewables G - 0.80 4.92
Total G 14.89 37.94 65.75 95.77 106.97 136.55 3.9%
Total electricity consumption (TWh) 10.35 28.77 45.59 74.35 85.82 108.21 4.7%

  • Less than 0.01 TWh


  • Years in this table are fiscal (1 July–30 June).

  • Electricity transmission and distribution losses are not deducted.

Sources: Refs [1], [3] and [5].


1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2018
Energy consumption (GJ/capita) 8.4 11.4 13.8 16.0 16.1 16.9
Electricity consumption (kWh/capita) 129 266 332 429 448 456
Electricity production/Energy prod. (%) 11.8 16.5 20.2 18.0 19.0 21.5
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) - 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

- Less than 0.1 %


  1. Years in this table are fiscal (1 July–30 June).

  2. Energy consumption does not include wood.

  3. Self-generation is not included in electricity production and consumption.

  4. Electricity has been converted to energy by using the conversion factor 1 GWh = 3.6 TJ.

  5. External dependency is the ratio of net import to total energy consumption.

Sources: Based on Tables 1, 2 and 3.


2.1. Historical Development and Current Organizational Structure

2.1.1. Overview

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Committee was established in 1955. The committee was transformed into a commission in 1956. The Ordinance for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was promulgated by the President of Pakistan and later approved by the National Assembly in 1965. The functions of PAEC include research work necessary for the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear technology in the fields of agriculture, medicine and industry and the execution of development projects, including nuclear power plants for generation of electric power. The Commission is guided by the instructions, if any, given to it by the Government.

2.1.2. Current Organizational Structure

PAEC has a Chairman and nine full-time members. The organizational chart of PAEC is shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1. Organizational Chart of PAEC.

2.2. Nuclear Power Plants: Overview

Pakistan started construction of its first nuclear power plant, KANUPP, in 1966 at Karachi. The plant was connected to the national grid on 18 October 1972. KANUPP, a pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) of 137 MW gross capacity was constructed by Canadian General Electric (CGE) under a turnkey contract. In 1976, vendor support for the supply of spare parts and fuel was withdrawn. PAEC manufactured the required spare parts and nuclear fuel on an emergency basis and, since 1980, KANUPP is successfully operating using fuel manufactured domestically by PAEC.

Despite Pakistan’s interest in additional electricity generating nuclear power plants, more than two decades passed before the construction of second nuclear power plant in the country began. This was due to international embargoes imposed on the access to nuclear technology coupled with a lack of indigenous technological and industrial infrastructure in the country. The construction of Pakistan’s second nuclear plant, CHASNUPP-1, a pressurized water reactor (PWR), was made possible in 1993 with the help of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The plant started commercial operation on 15 September 2000 and has a gross capacity of 325 MW. Another unit at the same site and with the same design and capacity, named CHASNUPP-2, started commercial operation on 18 May 2011. Next to come at the same site was CHASNUPP-3 that started commercial operation on 6 December 2016 and it has a gross capacity of 340 MW. Then another unit, CHASNUPP-4, with similar characteristics of CHASNUPP-3 started commercial operation on 19 Sept 2017. The Chashma site now has a total of four nuclear power units with a total installed capacity of 1330 MW. First concrete pours to mark the start of the construction of Karachi Coastal Power Project, a project containing two nuclear units, KANUPP-2 and KANUPP-3 (1100 MW each), based on a PWR design, were conducted on 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 90.3
CHASNUPP-2 PWR 300 Operational PAEC CNNC 2005-12-28 2011-02-22 2011-03-14 2011-05-18 86.4
CHASNUPP-3 PWR 315 Operational PAEC CNNC 2011-05-28 2016-08-01 2016-10-15 2016-12-06 86.2
CHASNUPP-4 PWR 313 Operational PAEC CNNC 2011-12-18 2017-03-15 2017-06-25 2017-09-19 81.9
KANUPP-1 PHWR 90 Operational PAEC CGE 1966-08-01 1971-08-01 1971-10-18 1972-12-07 4.9
KANUPP-2 PWR 1014 Under Construction PAEC CZEC 2015-08-20 2021-06-01 2021-07-31 2021-07-31
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.

2.2.2. Plant Upgrading, Plant Life Management and License Renewals

KANUPP, the oldest of the nuclear fleet of Pakistan that commenced operation in 1971, was designed to operate for 30 years. PAEC began life extension work of KANUPP well before its design life came to an end in 2002. Plant monitoring and periodic inspection indicated that major plant equipment including fuel channels, steam generators, steam condensers, turbine generators, primary heat transport pumps and feeders, were all in good condition.

A project entitled Safe Operation of KANUPP (SOK), was undertaken with the technical support of International Atomic Energy Agency (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. This scope of the project later was extended to include subproject Improved Safety Features of KANUPP (ISFK) and subproject Long Term Safety of KANUPP (LSFK).

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

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

The plant then was 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 license renewal. The major jobs carried out during this outage were: a fuel channel integrity assessment, an assessment of the habitability of the emergency control centre, the lancing of the steam generator water and the creation of a critical safety parameter display system. After completion of these specified jobs, 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 electrical capacity was formally de-rated from 137 MW to 100 MW effective from January 2004.

After the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011, 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. Future Development of Nuclear Power

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 the year 2030 (Ref. [6]). PAEC went about this target with the core idea of improving the domestic capability in nuclear power technology. This will not only reduce costs and save foreign exchange but also reduce dependence on external elements and expand the nation’s industrial and technological foundations.


Reactor Unit/ Project Name Owner Type Capacity (MW) Expected Construction Start Year Expected Commercial Year
Future NPP PAEC PWR 1100 2020 2027

2.3.2. Project Management

The existing nuclear power plants of Pakistan and those under construction are all turnkey projects. During construction and installation of operating plants (KANUPP, CHASNUPP-1, CHASNUPP-2, CHASNUPP-3, CHASNUPP-4) and plants currently under construction (KANUPP-2, KANUPP-3), PAEC has been involved in various project management activities. This experience will help PAEC to manage construction of future nuclear power plants. The engineering and design offices of PAEC can provide design and engineering services to the operational nuclear plants and also to those under construction. With experience, these offices will gradually their contribute in the construction of future nuclear plants in the country.

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 (i) PSDP allocation for power sector, (ii) income from sale of electricity from operational nuclear power plants, and (iii) 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 NTDC.

2.3.5. Sites

PAEC has conducted detailed studies for all sites of existing nuclear power plants and those under construction. The sites meeting regulatory requirements of PNRA were selected and have the capacity to accommodate additional nuclear units. Additional sites are being investigated to extend the nuclear power programme.

2.3.6. Public Awareness

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

2.4. Organizations Involved in Construction of Nuclear Power Plants

PAEC, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and PNRA are involved in various phases in construction of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

2.5. Organizations Involved in Operation of Nuclear Power Plants

PAEC, PNRA, NTDC, NEPRA and CPPA are involved in the operation of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

2.6. Organizations Involved in Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants

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

2.7. Fuel Cycle, Including Waste Management

PAEC initiated nuclear fuel cycle activities in the early 1960s. An uranium ore processing plant, using the indigenous ore, is in operation. Essential laboratory facilities were also established to support exploration and ore process development work. Fuel for KANUPP is fabricated by PAEC.

Appropriate waste management systems were designed for KANUPP and CHASNUPP sites to remove radioactive waste stemming from plant operations. 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 a 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. Research and Development

2.8.1. R&D Organizations

  1. Research Institutes/Centres

    PAEC has the following research institutes/centres:

    • Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) engages in basic and applied research in physics, chemistry, materials, safety, radioisotope applications and radiation protection;

    • Instrumentation, Control and Computers Complex (ICCC) oversees instrumentation and control of nuclear power plants, simulators, plant computer systems, etc.;

    • Engineering and design offices of PAEC provide design and engineering services to operational, under construction and future nuclear power plants.

  2. Research Reactor Facilities

    Pakistan has two research reactors:

    • PARR-1, swimming pool type, 10 MW;

    • PARR-2, tank in pool type, 30 kW.

2.8.2. Development of Advanced Nuclear Technologies

Pakistan is aiming to develop its capacity in the field of small and medium sized reactor (SMR) technology and PAEC is collaborating with IAEA for this purpose.

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 participants and 35 Pakistani participants from various establishments of PAEC attended the technical meeting.

2.8.3. International Cooperation and Initiatives

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

2.9. Human Resource Development (HRD)

PAEC manages its human resources needs through its Directorate of Human Resource Development (DHRD). DHRD ensures the availability of human resources, keeping in mind the workforce requirements of different projects.

PAEC is self-sufficient in educating and training competent human resources in a sustainable manner to support successful operation of its nuclear power programme. 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, PAEC prefers to hire the talent from a pool of nationally approved and chartered universities, including designated technical and vocational training institutes. But for specialized fields such as nuclear sciences, HRDIs train 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.

2.9.1. Humans Resource Development Institutions

  1. Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS) is one of the leading engineering universities of Pakistan. It provides the core of human resource needs to help PAEC 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 undergraduate programmes in electrical, mechanical and computer engineering. In addition to its degree programmes, PIEAS also holds management courses and organizes training courses in various specialized areas. PIEAS is the one of the highest ranking engineering university in Pakistan.

  2. 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 program in nuclear technology for technicians.

  3. 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.

  4. National Centre for Non-Destructive Testing (NCNDT) provides training in non-destructive testing techniques to engineers and technicians of PAEC and industry.

  5. Pakistan Welding Institute (PWI) provides training in industrial welding techniques to professionals of PAEC and industry.

  6. School of Mineral Technology (SMT) provides trainings in mineral technologies to professionals of PAEC.

2.10. Stakeholder Involvement

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

2.11. Emergency Preparedness

Submitting an emergency preparedness plan to PNRA is a mandatory prerequisite for the licensee. These requirements include 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/agriculture, conducting recovery operations, etc.

The emergency response plan requires attention to detail not only for the plant personnel but also for people, the environment and property that lie in the declared emergency zone, according to the potential accident classification. The plan is unique for every nuclear power installation and involves coordination amongst many city administration offices that are trained for potential scenarios. 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. Regulatory Framework

3.1.1. Regulatory Authority(ies)

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

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

  • Site registration;

  • Construction license;

  • Permission for commissioning;

  • Permission to introduce nuclear material into the installation;

  • Operating license;

  • Revalidation of operating license;

  • Licensing beyond design life;

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

  • Removal from regulatory control

3.2. National Laws and Regulations in Nuclear Power

Main Laws in Nuclear Power:

  • Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2001;

Main Regulations in Nuclear Power:

  • 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 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 Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Installations — (PAK/925)

  • Regulations on Security of Radioactive Sources — (PAK/926)

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

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

  • Trade Policy: 2012–15, Ministry of Commerce, Import Policy Order 2013, Export Policy Order 2013 and Import and Export Control Act 1950

  • National Policy on Safe Management of Radioactive Waste, Decommissioning and Spent Fuel in Islamic Republic of Pakistan — (RWP-01/2018)


  1. Pakistan Energy Year Book 2018 and earlier issues, Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

  2. Hydro Potential in Pakistan, Water and Power Development Authority, Oct. 2013.

  3. State of Industry Report 2019 and earlier issues, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

  4. Alternative Energy Development Board website,, accessed on 23 April 2018.

  5. Power System Statistics 2017–18, 43rd Edition, National Transmission and Despatch Company.

  6. Medium Term Development Framework 2005–2010, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan, May 2005.


Pakistan became a Member State of the IAEA on 2 May 1957 and has actively participated in the Agency’s activities. Pakistan has benefited from the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation and Assistance Programme (TCAP) and has also provided training to scientists and engineers from other countries through TCAP. Pakistan is also party to various international, bilateral and multilateral agreements in the area of nuclear power and safeguards, concluded with IAEA. International agreements to which Pakistan is party are listed in table 6-10.

Agreements with the IAEA

Project/Supply Related Safeguards Agreements

Pakistan Research Reactor-1 (PARR-1)
5 March 1962
Project agreements/Booster Rods for KANUPP
17 June 1968
Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP)
17 October 1969
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-1 (CHASNUPP-1)
24 February 1993
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-2 (CHASNUPP-2)
22 February 2007
Supply of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-3 (CHASNUPP-3)
17 May 2011
Supply of Karachi Nuclear Power Plants -2& -3 (KANUPP-2/3)
18 May 2017

Unilateral Safeguards Submissions

Supply of miniature neutron source reactor (MNSR)/PARR-2
10 September 1991

Other Agreements

Voluntary Reporting to IAEA on Exports of any Np and Am to CSA States
18 Jan & 4 Oct 2000
Improved procedure for designation of safeguard inspector
20 Dec 1988
Agreement on privilege and immunities with IAEA
16 Apr 1963

Technical Cooperation Agreements

Revised Supplementary agreements concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAERA (RSA)
22 Sep 1994
Regional Cooperative agreement for research, development and training related to Science and Technology (RCA)
6 Sep 1974

International Conventions/Arrangements, etc.

Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident
Took effect
12 October 1989
Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency
Took effect
12 October 1989
Convention on nuclear safety
Took effect
29 December 1997
Convention on the physical protection of nuclear material
Took effect
12 October 2000
Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
Took effect
8 May 2016
Acceptance of 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 9263019
fax: +92 51 9263009

Coordinator’s Information:

Dr. Ghiyas Ud Din

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 basis that starts from 1 July and ends on 30 June. So FY 2017–18 started on 1 July 2017 and ended on 30 June 2018.