Russia to help open Kazakh enriched uranium enterprise

26.06.2012 - 19:43

Earlier, Russia and Kazakhstan signed a comprehensive programme for co-operation in the nuclear industry, which is now being successfully realised. Uranium minefields have already been created in Kazakhstan and they are operating based on modern technologies.

"Now we have reached production volume of 4,000 tonnes of uranium per year. And soon, the level of production will reach 6,000 tonnes of uranium per year. In other words, we and our Kazakh partners are ahead of the implementation schedule of our joint programme," the head of Posatom, Segey Kiriyenko, told Kazakh and Russian journalists.

According to him as a part of the programme Kazakh-Russian joint ventures have been created and are already operating in Kazakhstan, citing Yuronionvam, majority share of which is owned by Rosatom, as an example.

"I appreciate the leadership of Kazakhstan for the timely accepted decisions on the establishment of this enterprise. Thus, they supported the process of integration between our countries," Kiriyenko said.

In turn, the Kazakh specialists are also involved in joint projects that are carried out in Russia. “Originally we intended to create a commercial centre for uranium enrichment. Now we are actively working on its creation,” Kiriyenko said. "Our task is to reach a certain level of five million separative work units (it is a countable quantity in terms of uranium enrichment)," he recalled.

Originally, it was supposed to establish this centre in Angarsk, but the Kazakh side expressed their wish that it would be interesting for them to create such a centre at the Russian plant in Novouralsk, which is more modern, more powerful and more promising.

The Russian side agreed with the desire of Kazakh partners. The preparatory work lasted about a year. And on 28 May, the Kazakh side told that they had accepted all our conditions. Then, on 5 June, a working group approved the entire financial model of the project. 

"I think that next year we will have a physical production, in other words, Kazakhstan will receive as well the enriched uranium on our co-production," Kiriyenko said.

In addition, he said, that within the framework of the integrated programme for co-operation between Kazakhstan and Russia there is a project of potential construction of nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. But when and where the plant will be built in Kazakhstan is a question to the leadership of the energy sector of this country.

For the Russian side, it is important that new nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan would be a fully functional and modern enterprise. Its future capacity depends on the results of the analysis of energy requirements of Kazakhstan. 

It is known that during a recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Astana, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that it is decided that the establishment of nuclear power plants are to be implemented in partnership with Russia. "We are waiting for a response from the power industry of Kazakhstan on two issues: the necessary volume of the energy capacity and where such a station is required. The project which we can offer will fundamentally depend on these issues. Previously we have worked out with Kazatomprom a version of the innovative tank with the capacity of 300 MW, Vbr300," Kiriyenko said.

According to him, Russia is ready to present an innovative tank. It is successfully used in submarines, and it was tested for reliability. "Once we, jointly with Kazakhstan, are able to implement this project, we will be able to sell it to third countries," the head of Rosatom said.