Kazakhstan’s government announces the cost of future nuclear power plant

General news correspondent
Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP is considering different designs for the country’s first NPP / Collage by Kursiv.media

According to Timur Zhantikin, director general of the Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants company, the construction of the first NPP in the country could cost about $10 to $15 billion.

How much money can Kazakhstan allocate for the construction of an NPP?

«The cost of the first plant is around $10 to $15 billion. Currently, we are working on sources of funding. Mainly, they are international financial institutions. This project is considered commercial with no support from the government. Therefore, we have some nuances here,» Zhantikin said.

What is Zhantikin’s company responsible for?

According to the official, Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP is looking for the best way to build the first NPP in Kazakhstan. During the bidding period, the country received 13 different designs from companies from all over the world. As a result, Kazakhstan has chosen four designs that are considered the most viable.

«These designs are the most suitable for Kazakhstan. These are so-called boiling water reactors. They are the most common and reliable reactors with high levels of safety and efficacy. So, we are closely reviewing these four designs,» Zhantikin explained.

When will the construction of an NPP start? As the company’s CEO said, the feasibility study must be conducted first. If the government approves the project, the company will start working on design estimate documentation and will then launch the construction itself. “We hope that this NPP will be put into operation by 2035,” he noted.

What do we know about this company? Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants is a subsidiary of the Samruk Kazyna holding. It was established in 2014 in Astana and then re-registered in 2019. The company is engaged in engineering research and technical consulting in the sphere of nuclear facilities and nuclear energy.

The context. The country’s government hasn’t yet made a final decision concerning the construction of an NPP. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev even proposed a nationwide referendum on the issue, although it isn’t clear when exactly such a referendum would be conducted.

According to preliminary information, the first NPP might be built in the Ulken settlement in the Almaty region.

Meanwhile, Samruk Kazyna is weighing two options for financing the NPP construction and is going to use either its own money or transfers from the National Fund. 

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