13 May 2022 15:58

Kazakhstan continues studying Russian technology for constructing NPPs despite sanctions - Kazakh Energy Ministry

NUR-SULTAN. May 13 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan is continuing to study various technologies, including Russian technology, for constructing nuclear power plants, Kazakh Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov told reporters Friday on the sidelines of a forum on developing oil and gas engineering.

"We are not saying that we intend to build a nuclear power plant with Russia. We are saying that we are studying the technology, natural resources, and conditions. All the available and safest technologies are being considered," Akchulakov said when answering about the advisability of cooperating with Russia's Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation on the project for constructing a NPP in Kazakhstan amid the wave of Western sanctions imposed against Russia.

"Russian progress and know-how are considered the most advanced according to operating experience and safety standards as well, like those of the French and Americans," Akchulakov added.

A feasibility study into construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan is still ongoing and may last until the end of 2022, according to Akchulakov.

Kazakhstan is studying the natural and climatic conditions of the regions where the NPP may be built, he said.

The possibility of building a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan has been under discussion for many years. As the republic may face a shortage of electricity in the future, the government has again returned to the NPP construction project.

Though construction of a nuclear power plant is not very much welcomed by the population, Kazakhstan needs to do it, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in September 2021. "In my opinion, it's time for us to give serious consideration to this issue, for Kazakhstan needs a nuclear power plant," Tokayev said.

According to the Energy Ministry, construction of a nuclear power plant may take up to ten years and the cost of one unit will come to $5 billion. Nuclear power generation is anticipated to total 2.4 GW by 2035, which will account for 6% of all electricity generation in Kazakhstan.

Active work is underway to study the technologies of six global suppliers of reactor technologies, such as NuScale Power with its NuScale reactor, GE-Hitachi with the APR-1000, APR-1400 reactors, China's CNNC with the HPR-1000, CNP-600+ reactors, Rosatom with the VVER-1200, VVER-1000 reactors and EDF with the ATMEA1 reactor.

Earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready to build a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan, adding that this offer was not limited just to the construction of the facility itself, but training specialists for the industry as well.

In February 2022, Kazakhstan's Energy Ministry and Rosatom signed a memorandum of cooperation in training Kazakh specialists in peaceful uses of nuclear power.