Kazakhstan to hold public hearings on nuclear plant after parliamentary elections

Senior news correspondent
Once the elections are over, the country will discuss where a power plant must be built / Shutterstock

According to the administration of the Jambyl district of the Almaty region, authorities are going to hold public hearings on the matter of building a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan when the parliamentary election is over. The government has chosen the small Ulken settlement at the shore of Balkhash Lake as a location for the plant. On the other hand, authorities are keeping in mind the town of Kurchatov as a likely site for the second nuclear power plant.

«As all maslikhats (local representative bodies) in our country have stopped working until the upcoming elections, we can’t gather any representative of the local representative body to talk to. That is why we decided to hold public hearings after the new composition of the maslikhat is formed,» the Jambyl district administration said.

Local authorities want all concerned parties to take part in the hearings, although, the hearings were initially scheduled for February 28. It was presumed that people of the Ulken settlement would gather in a local school to express their opinion on the project. Why nobody thought about the local maslikhat’s deputies back then is unclear. However, the new date of the hearings is yet to be scheduled.

On February 1, 2023, First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar ordered the Ministry of Energy to decide on the technology that must be executed at the first country’s nuclear plant. The ministry has to launch project design work this year.  

In December 2022, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it would send its inspectors to Kazakhstan to verify its nuclear infrastructure. In 2016, when the agency’s inspectors visited the country last time, they recommended Kazakhstani counterparts improve some aspects of the nuclear infrastructure.

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