9 Jun 2022 15:40

Kazakhstan chooses site for new NPP - Tokayev

NUR-SULTAN. June 9 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan has chosen the site to build a nuclear power plant, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

"We have chosen a location for the NPP and are studying technologies of potential suppliers," Tokayev said at a meeting of the foreign investors' council on de-carbonization of the economy, without indicating where exactly the NPP would be built.

Kazakhstan has a number of competitive advantages for the development of atomic energy, which the European Union has attributed to green technologies, Tokayev said. "Our country is the world's largest manufacturer of natural uranium, it has domestic nuclear fuel production and is able to enrich uranium," he said.

Kazakh Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov said earlier that two sites, including Kurchatov in the East Kazakh Region and Ulken in the Almaty region, were being considered as a possible location for the NPP. The South regional power plant and Lake Balkhash are situated near Ulken. The site was considered for housing a nuclear power plant back in the Soviet era, he said.

Kazakhstan has been exploring the possibility of building a nuclear power plant for years. Discussions have intensified lately, due to the possible future deficit of electricity. Despite public disapproval, the Kazakh authorities believe that a decision to build the nuclear power plant still needs to be made.

According to the Kazakh Energy Ministry, the construction process may take up to ten years, and the average cost of a reactor unit is $5 billion. A 2.4GW nuclear power plant is an option included in the national energy balance forecast for the period until 2035.