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Astana, Kazakhstan • 23 August 2022

Nuclear Power Plant to Be Built in Almaty Region

Construction may finish after the estimated due date of electricity shortage

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On June 9, President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev announced that the location of the nuclear power plant (NPP) has been decided and experts are now studying the technology of possible suppliers, Tengrinews reports.

NPP 2035

At the meeting of the Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC) President Tokayev emphasized that Kazakhstan has a number of competitive advantages in the development of nuclear energy, which the European Union has included in the list of green technologies.

Our country ranks first in the world in the extraction of natural uranium, has its own production of nuclear fuel and has the appropriate capacity for uranium enrichment. At the moment, we have decided on the location of the nuclear power plant and are studying the technologies of potential suppliers.

President Tokayev

As for the location, the minister of energy Bulat Akchulakov revealed the NPP will be built in Ulken Village, Almaty Region. Earlier, two sites were considered for the construction of the plant: Ulken village and Kurchatov city in Eastern Kazakhstan.

According to Akchulakov, the technologies that are being studied for the construction of the nuclear plant include French, Russian, Japanese, South Korean and Chinese reactors. The exact cost depends on the reactor chosen. The minister highlighted that the feasibility study had not yet been developed and that the average construction period may take about 10 years.

The minister had previously given his comments on the possibility of working with Rosatom, calling Russian development "the most advanced, according to work experience and safety standards." 

Need for energy

During the Eastern Economic Forum in 2021, the president said that the country needs a NNP, citing the high possibility of an energy shortage by 2030. 

The global shift towards clean energy and sustainability is another reason for the decision. The president added that countries in the Asia-Pacific region account for more than 60% of the world's energy production. The mutual cooperation between nations to address carbon neutrality plays a big role.

Just two years ago, in May 2020, Energy Minister Nurlan Nogayev said that the country was not yet considering the construction of a nuclear power plant due to the fact that the country has a surplus of electricity generation. At the time, President Tokayev also said that Kazakhstan did not intend to build a nuclear power plant. But later he noted that "we will not rush with the construction of nuclear power plants, but we should not be late with this matter either."

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