Balkhash lakeside is best site for new Kazakh nuclear power plant

Business Materials 23 April 2014 11:59 (UTC +04:00)
Balkhash lakeside is the most appropriate site for the construction of new Kazakh nuclear power plant

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

By Elena Kosolapova- Trend:

Balkhash lakeside is the most appropriate site for the construction of new Kazakh nuclear power plant, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported on April 23 with the reference to a Kazakh official.

"The area near the village of Ulken near Balkhash is the most preferred for a nuclear power plant. This region experiences power shortage and at the same time has developed an electrical network to transmit power from the station," Chairman of the Atomic Energy Committee under Kazakh Industry and New Technologies Ministry Mazhit Sharipov said at the seminar "Kazakhstan-IAEA: nuclear power infrastructure development".

Earlier Kazakhstan also considered the city of Kurchatov in the East Kazakhstan region and the city of Aktau as possible sites for a future nuclear power plant.

"Kurchatov is preferred as a backup site (for the plant)," Sharipov said.

A plant in this area will be able to export electricity to Russia.

"The area of Aktau is the least preferred site compared to other ones," Sharipov said.

The seismic hazard, in all three regions does not exceed the level which is safe for nuclear power plants. In terms of geological phenomena - karst caves and drawdowns - Kurchatov and Balkhash areas are more preferred for the construction of nuclear power plants, he said. Nuclear power plants in all areas will have resources for water supply in required amount.

Sharipov believes that it is preferable to use a reference light water reactor using thermal neutron of third or third+ generation.

Meanwhile Kazakh vice-minister of industry and new technologies Bahytzhan Dzhaksaliyev said
that Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna is creating a special company which will develop the feasibility study of the new nuclear power plant.

"A nuclear power plant should appear in about 2025 in our terms," he said.
Earlier Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the government of the republic to solve issues of the placement, investment and construction period of a nuclear power plant.
Kazakhstan has great uranium reserves - the main fuel for the plant. The country remains the world biggest uranium producer since 2009 and produced 22,500 tons in 2013 (38 percent of the world mining volume). Currently the country exports all the producing uranium.

Edited by C. N.