Pak, China 'nuke plant deal' breach of Beijing's int'l anti-nuclear weapons accord

Islamabad, Mar 23 : The formal agreement signed by the Chinese and Pakistani government to construct a third nuclear reactor in Punjab province will violate Beijing's promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord, a report has said.

According to US intelligence and diplomatic officials, the secret agreement for the Chashma 3 reactor was signed in Beijing during the visit by a delegation from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from Feb 15 to 18.

The agreement calls for the state-run China National Nuclear Corp. to construct a 1,000-megawatt power plant at Chashma, located in Punjab, where two earlier Chinese reactors were built.

According to the Nation, the deal had been in the works for several years and prompted high-level US government efforts to block the sale because of concerns it will boost Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme.

The Washington Times claimed in a report that recent US intelligence reports indicated that China is in the process of modernising Islamabad's nuclear arsenal, which is estimated to contain as many as 110 warheads.

The arms cooperation is said to include development of a new warhead for Pakistan's growing missile arsenal as well as assistance in reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, the paper added.

--ANI (Posted on 23-03-2013)

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