27 May 2024 16:37

Uzbek president asks for Uzatom agency to be reorganized, resubordinated to govt

TASHKENT. May 27 (Interfax) - Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has issued an order for the Uzatom agency created six years ago to be reorganized, resubordinated from the Energy Ministry to the government and permitted to enter into direct contracts for various work.

"To establish an Atomic Energy Agency under the Cabinet of Ministers based on the Atomic Energy Development Agency for the [Uzatom] under the Energy Ministry," says the text of the order, published in the national legal database.

The order treats the agency is a republican executive body which pursues state policy in the peaceful use of atomic energy.

The main fields of the agency's activity and its setup are approved by resolution of the head of state.

The agency and organizations within its structure are permitted to enter into direct contracts with companies providing the necessary services, including marketing, engineering and others, when determining concepts, parameters and conditions for projects. They will also be able to create (participate in the authorized capital of) commercial entities and enter into direct agreements with these companies, and participate in the financing of projects in sectors of the economy.

The agency's director is authorized to hire specialists from government agencies and organizations, design institutes, scientific and educational institutions, as well as leading international and foreign companies as consultants. The director can also hire foreign specialists, as well as pay for their work in national or foreign currency (with transfer to accounts abroad) from the agency's extra-budgetary funds and other sources.

Rosatom is planning to build two power units with VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors in Uzbekistan. In November 2023, Rosatom General Director Alexei Likhachev said work on the contract to build an NPP in Uzbekistan was at its final stage. Rosatom has conducted research at the site and made additional proposals on low capacity, he said.

Uzatom was set up in line with President Mirziyoyev's decree of July 19, 2018.

Russia and Uzbekistan signed an agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear power in December 2017. The governments of the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation to build a Russian-designed nuclear power plant in September 2018. Mirziyoyev in February 2019 authorized a roadmap for the development of the Uzbek nuclear power industry for 2019-2029.