Kazakhstan in talks with Toshiba to construct its first nuclear power plant23 january 2015, 11:56
Kazakhstan has started talks with Toshiba, owner of Westinghouse, to construct its first nuclear power plant. As early as in March the sides might sign an agreement on supplying a $3.7 billion reactor capable of 1 gigawatt, according to Russia’s Kommersant daily.
“Yesterday Chairman of the Board and Director Masashi Muromachi officially confirmed the talks with Kazakhstan (…) Early January 2015 Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that Toshiba might supply an AP1000, a nuclear power reactor designed and sold by Westinghouse Electric to Kazakhstan. According to the Japanese publication, Kazakhstan’s KazAtomProm agreed to having the equipment supplied following respective talks in December 2014. The contract was expected to be signed by the end of Japanese fiscal year (ending March 31), with the nuclear power plant to be launched by 2030 in Kurchatov, North-East of Kazakhstan”, Russia’s Kommersant reports.
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”.
Tengrinews.kz reported earlier, citing KazAtomProm’s Press Service, that Kazakhstan retains its title of the uranium production leader as it supplies about 37% of uranium to global markets. The global market’s capacity is estimated at 55 700 tons. The uranium production output in Kazakhstan made up 20 900 tons in 2012. In 2011 the country’s share in global uranium supplies stood at 35%.