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Pakistan breaks ground on big nuclear plant


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KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan has broken ground on what will be the country's largest civil nuclear power plant, which is being built with help from China.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif performed the ground breaking ceremony in the southern city of Karachi on Tuesday. He said the plant will take 72 months to complete and will produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity.

Critics have said that China's assistance to Pakistan would violate nonproliferation agreements. China has said the deal would be carried out in line with "international obligations" and subject to international safeguards and supervision.

Pakistan is desperately in need of additional electricity since the country currently faces rolling blackouts. The nuclear deal with China represents a continuation of the strong alliance between the two countries.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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