Updates on Uzbekistan’s nuclear progress

Updates on Uzbekistan’s nuclear progress

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22

By Klavdiya Romakayeva - Trend:

The Government of Uzbekistan will soon approve the strategy for the management of spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste, and decommissioning of nuclear installations, Trend reports with reference to the press-service of Ministry of Energy in Uzbekistan.

At the 64th Annual International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, the Minister of Energy for Uzbekistan, Alisher Sultanov, updated attendees on the continued development of nuclear energy in Uzbekistan.

The Minister acknowledged the global impact of Covid-19 but noted nuclear science and technology’s contribution to fighting it and thanked the IAEA for its significant role in mobilizing joint efforts to combat the virus by providing countries with diagnostic kits and detection equipment. In particular, he thanked the IAEA for diagnostic test systems supplied to three medical centers in Uzbekistan.

The Minister reiterated Uzbekistan’s support for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the country’s continued fulfillment of Treaty obligations in this regard.

“Uzbekistan is making great strides in developing its nuclear and regulatory infrastructure. We are doing this in a strong partnership with the IAEA, so it is a great honor to provide an update on our progress,” said Sultanov.

“Uzbekistan stands shoulder to shoulder with the IAEA and fully supports its aims of promoting the use of nuclear science and technology to ensure peace, stability, cooperation, and development. I would also like to thank the IAEA for its continued support of our initiatives and the training of Uzbek citizens through the ongoing Technical Cooperation Program,” the minister added.

As part of the preparation for the construction of Uzbekistan’s first nuclear power plant, and to create the necessary regulatory infrastructure, the Minister announced that the Government of Uzbekistan will soon approve the strategy for the management of spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste, and decommissioning of nuclear installations and establish procedures for licensing, and obtaining regulatory permits for activity in atomic energy.

This follows recent procedural progress for safety examinations of nuclear facilities by Uzbek regulatory bodies.

Draft decisions on Uzbekistan’s accession to four international conventions have also been prepared, for which adoption is expected by the end of 2020.

The conventions are:

Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage;

Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident;

Convention on Nuclear Safety;

Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

As part of Uzbekistan’s commitment to transparent communications about its nuclear power program, Sultanov confirmed a mission of international experts will review the country’s progress towards the infrastructure required for a safe and sustainable nuclear power program. The review is scheduled to take place by the end of 2020.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @romakayeva

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