Kazakhstan 'may build a nuclear plant in the next 10 years'

17 October 2011

Interfax, citing Sergey Yashin, deputy head of the National Nuclear Company Kazatomprom, has reported his reiteration of the proposal to build a nuclear power plant within the next 10 years in Kazakhstan.

Mr Yashin said "The work has already started; if the decision on a nuclear power plant is made, [a] plant in Kazakhstan become a reality in the next 10 years taking [into account] today's NPP technologies."

He added that "In the near future we will need to identify the role and place of nuclear power in the country's energy balance, determine the locations for NPP building sites, choose the best nuclear technology, primarily in terms of safety and also settle a vast number of issues, from personnel training, development of NPP operational standards and participation of Kazakh companies in NPP construction."

The Kazak government first revealed its intention to construct a NPP near Lake Balkhash in 1998. It was also stated then that the first unit of Balkhash would be put into service in 2005 and the whole plant would be running before 2015. Later the government changed the location to Aktau, in the vicinity of the decommissioned fast breeder reactor BN-350. BN-350 was put in service at the MAEK energy complex in 1973, but that reactor has now been shut down and its fuel removed.

in an earlier statement Mr Yashin has noted that the feasibility study for the Aktau nuclear power plant had been appraised by state regulators and that the first block of the power plant was scheduled for 'launch' in 2016.

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