The long-awaited agreement on constructing a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan may be signed before the end of June 2015, tengrinews.kz reports, citing Vitaliy Ryabov, a spokesman for RosAtom.
“The sides are thrashing out the details. The major agreement should be very detailedly considered so that the sides would have fewer issues when drafting the actual contracts and running the construction works (...) on Russia's side the agreement has already been coordinated by respective agencies, whereas in Kazakhstan the process has taken longer than expected due to rearrangement of the country's ministries and new requirements in place. We hope all the issues will be resolved in the nearest time (…) the agreement is likely to be signed in the H1 2015", Mr. Ryabov told on the sidelines of an industrial exhibition held in Astana, the country's capital city. According to him, Russia was ready to start construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan as early as in 2014.
“The major point is for Kazakhstan to decide on the type and power of the plant. The Russian side has had a variety of suggestions, including a facility in Aktau. The latter has both associated gas and proximity to the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan has suggested another place and Russia is ready to start the construction works there. Construction is of interest to us not only in terms of financial benefits; we believe it important to further the bilateral cooperation. We are interested in nuclear fuel, in uranium extracted in Kazakhstan. We are interested in the technology to be involved. There is a mutual interest", he said, adding that some delays in signing the agreement is not an obstacle. “There are even some benefits. The more detailed in the agreement, the easier it will be to sign contracts and run the actual construction works".
According to him, the value of the project hasn't been defined yet.
Back in September 2014 Kazakhstan's Government endorsed an agreement on cooperation to construct a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. On the Kazakh side, the agreement was signed by the then Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik; Sergei Kirienko, Head of RosAtom, was the plenipotentiary on the Russian side.
Early 2014 the country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev commissioned the Government to decide before the end of the Q1 2014 on the location, sources of investments and timing of constructing a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan.
In his Address to the Nation at the start of 2014, President Nursultan Nazarbayev elaborated why Kazakhstan needs to construct a nuclear power plant.
He emphasized that the future lies with nuclear power. “To use natural gas is a waste of resources. Instead, the gas could be used to produce high value added products. Kazakhstan is a global supplier of uranium (…) we do have all the capabilities [to develop the nuclear power industry]. Nuclear power is a clean energy we should take advantage of", Nazarbayev said at the time.
“There may be more than one nuclear power plants (…) Their construction is not going to be cheap. Despite potential hazards, more than half of power generated in West Europe comes from nuclear power plants; Japan is not halting its nuclear power industry, either".
In 2014 Kazakhstan produced 22 829 tons of uranium, up from 22 500 tons in 2013. KazAtomProm (including its shares in adjacent entities) was responsible for 13 156 tons of the amount.