Kazakhstan consideres proposals from two American companies to build nuclear power plant

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Kazakhstan is considering proposals from two American companies for the construction of a nuclear power plant, said Almasadam Satkaliyev, the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan. "Rosatom" is one of the vendors. Besides "Rosatom," applications were submitted by the French EDF, companies from Korea, China, and two American companies - General Electric and NuScale. The minister mentioned that they are studying the technologies of installing small modular reactors. The decision will be made after a referendum, Sputnik reports.

In September, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced the need for a nationwide referendum on the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. The shortlist of potential nuclear technology suppliers includes the Chinese CNNC with the HPR-1000 reactor, the Korean KHNP with the APR-1400 reactor, the Russian "Rosatom" with the VVER-1200 and VVER-1000 reactors, and the French EDF with the EPR-1200 reactor.

The idea of building a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan was first suggested in 1997 by the Minister of Science of Kazakhstan, Vladimir Shkolnik. The proposal aimed to replace the decommissioned unit of the Mangystau Nuclear Power Plant (MAEK). Despite several negotiations since then, no progress has been made. In November 2016, the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan, Kanat Bozumbayev, stated that the country would not build a nuclear power plant for at least seven years due to an excess of electricity.

On April 3, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to build a nuclear power plant using Russian technologies. The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan later announced that the preliminary construction site for the nuclear power plant was determined to be the village of Ulken in the Almaty region. Public discussions on the construction took place in Ulken in August 2023. After the hearings on September 1, Tokayev instructed to bring the question of construction or refusal to build a nuclear power plant to a nationwide referendum. The date of the referendum is yet to be determined.


November 9, 2023