27 Feb 2023 18:28

IAEA experts begin working in Kazakhstan, to discuss NPP construction

ASTANA. Feb 27 (Interfax) - An expert mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started working in Kazakhstan on Monday to help prepare a report detailing the country's nuclear power infrastructure, the press service of the Kazakh Energy Ministry said.

"An expert mission has started working to help fine-tune the comprehensive report on the development of the nuclear power infrastructure of Kazakhstan with the participation of IAEA representatives and external international experts," the press service said.

The IAEA mission, due to run until March 3, is expected to look into a wide range of issues concerning the development of Kazakhstan's nuclear power infrastructure and the construction of its first nuclear power plant (NPP).

"The objective of this mission is to help Kazakhstan draw up a comprehensive report through sharing experience with international experts," according to the ministry.

In line with the guidelines of the IAEA Milestones Approach, a comprehensive report corresponds to the attainment of Milestone I, i.e. readiness to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear power program, and provides the rationale and strategy for pursuing a nuclear power program, the press service said.

Kazakhstan plans to build an NPP near the Ulken village in the Almaty region (southeastern Kazakhstan). The construction could take up to ten years, with a power unit costing on average $5 billion, the energy ministry said. The country's projected energy balance for the period to 2035 includes a 2.4 gigawatt NPP as one of the options.

The project for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan is to be implemented by an international pool of investors, which should make the most of the best technology, Chairman of the Management Board of State Fund Samruk-Kazyna Almasadam Satkaliyev said in September 2022.