28 Jun 2022 15:45

Kazakhstan signs memorandum with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power

NUR-SULTAN. June 28 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP and the nuclear technology supplier Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power or KHNP signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of nuclear energy development on June 28.

The memorandum, signed in Seoul during a visit by the Kazakh delegation led by Deputy Energy Minister Zhandos Nurmaganbetov, will "help strengthen the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and South Korea in the field of nuclear energy development," the Energy Ministry's press office said.

Four technologies for a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan currently remain under consideration, while the U.S. and Japan's proposals have been taken off the list, general director of Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP Timur Zhantikin said on June 14.

"Naturally, it's Rosatom, which is now building more than anyone else, not only having technologies that have proven successful but the entire construction process that is well established. We always look at the supply chain. France. China is now confidently entering the market. Korea, as you know, has built the most recent project in the Emirates and launched the first unit, and now embarking on projects in Europe and the USA," he said.

Kazakh government earlier said it was actively studying the technologies of six global manufacturers of nuclear reactors: NuScale Power, U.S., NuScale reactor; GE-Hitachi, U.S.-Japan, BWRX-300 reactor; Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, KHNP, South Korea, APR-1000 and APR-1400 reactors; CNNC, China, HPR-1000 and CNP-600+ reactors; Rosatom, Russia, VVER-1200 and VVER-1000 reactors; and Electricite de France, ATMEA1 reactor.

A future nuclear power plant is likely to be bult near Lake Balkhash in the southern part of the country.

The possibility of building a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan has been under discussion for many years. The government has returned to the NPP construction project as the republic may face a shortage of electricity in the future. The NPP project is not universally popular among the public but the authorities believe it is the right thing to do.

The Kazakh Energy Ministry expects construction to take up to ten years, with the cost of one power unit reaching $5 billion. Kazakhstan's energy balance forecast for the period up to 2035 proposes the launch of an NPP with an aggregate capacity of 2.4 GW among possible options.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that Russia was ready to build an NPP for Kazakhstan. Putin then said this offer was not limited to just constructing an NPP. "This concerns creating a whole sector, which includes training personnel at Russian higher-educational institutions in new professions associated with the use of nuclear power," he said.

The Kazakh Energy Ministry and the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom concluded a memorandum on cooperation in training personnel for the civilian nuclear energy industry at the start of 2022.