Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site ©RIA NovostiKazakhstan is intending to transport nuclear waste from its future power plants to the Semipalatinsk Test Site for disposal, a tengrinews correspondent reports citing Kazakhstan's Vice-Minister of Energy Bakhytzhan Dzhaksaliyev as saying.
"When considering the construction of a nuclear power plant, of course, the question immediately arises: where do we take the waste from this power plant to? A nuclear power plant's life cycle is at least 60 years. The issue of disposal of the waste is being considered even at the blue-print stage. (…) Most likely the disposal is possible at the Semipalatinsk Test Site," Dzhaksaliyev said during the presentation of the Law “On the Use of Atomic Energy” in the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of Kazakhstan's Parliament.
He explained that the question of disposal of such wastes was not a fundamental one at that point. However, he pointed out that this had been practiced in Kazakhstan before. For example, the wastes from the once active reactor BM-350 in Aktau, in Kazakhstan's west, were buried at the Semipalatinsk Test Site.
"Monitoring of the efficiency of the use of this disposal site is constant, and it meets all the standards as defined by the IAEA. We are continuing our work on waste disposal," he said.
The Kazakh Vice Minister made it clear that the construction of nuclear power plants was official.
"The final date of commissioning is 2025. We have started the arrangements already. At this point a company called Kazakhstani Nuclear Power Plants has been created within KazAtomProm (Kazakhstan's national nuclear company)," he informed.
Dzhaksaliyev said that the date and place of nuclear power plant construction was "still pending."
"The decision will be taken after a wide discussion, first of all, with the population. All the levels of the government will also be involved. We are planning two nuclear plants: near Lake Balkhash in its south-western part near the railway station of Shyganak and Ulken village; the other one at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, nominally in the town of Kurchatov," he said.