Kazakhstan selects NPP site

14 June 2022

Kazakhstan has chosen the area of Lake Balkhash in the Alma-Ata region for the construction of a large NPP and the authorities are now considering potential suppliers, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told a meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors on 9 June.

"Kazakhstan has a number of competitive advantages for the development of nuclear energy, which the European Union has included in the list of green technologies,” he said. “Our country ranks first in the world in the extraction of natural uranium, has its own production of nuclear fuel components and has the appropriate capabilities for uranium enrichment. At the moment, we have decided on the location of the NPP and are studying technologies from potential suppliers," he said.

At the end of December 2021, the head of the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, Magzum Mirzagaliev, had said that the authorities were considering two sites for the potential construction of a nuclear power plant - the village of Ulken in the Alma-Ata region on the shores of Lake Balkhash and the city of Kurchatov in the East Kazakhstan region. At the same time, he stressed that the final decision on the choice of the site has not yet been made. On 24 May, Akchulakov said that the Kazakh Energy Ministry was considering the region of Lake Balkhash in the southeast of the republic as a potential NPP site but no final decision had been taken.

Once the site is decided, it will be necessary to investigate the geology, water, and ecology and to then select a technology. "We will determine the technology as early as next year. There is no feasibility study yet. After the technology is chosen, construction may take about 10 years," he explained. He added that different technologies are being considered - Russian, French, Japanese, South Korean and Chinese. 

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