President Tokayev announces referendum on issue of nuclear power plant

Senior correspondent for General News department
The president reacted to requests from entrepreneurs who asked him to choose a date for the referendum on NPP / Collage by, photo editor: Arthur Aleskerov

According to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the people of Kazakhstan are going to decide whether the country needs a nuclear power plant (NPP) in a referendum this fall. The cabinet will choose the exact date for the endeavor. The Ministry of Energy and Samruk-Kazyna have been obliged to prepare for the referendum, explaining to the population its goals and objectives.

«There is no way to expand economic growth without a stable power supply. This is why I have ordered the cabinet to explore the issue of launching a nuclear power station in our country. Currently, we are discussing the issue and carefully reviewing different points of view. The media has also taken an active part in this process. Our country has huge potential in the sphere of nuclear energy. However, this matter is up to the people of Kazakhstan. The referendum must take place this fall. The cabinet should choose the exact date for this later,» Tokayev said during his speech celebrating Journalist Day in Kazakhstan.

The context. On September 1, 2023, during his national address, President Tokayev said that the issue of the potential construction of an NPP in Kazakhstan should be decided by a nationwide referendum.

The president also noted that many citizens and some experts are wary about safety issues associated with the future NPP. Given the tragic past of the nuclear testing ground in Semipalatinsk these worries are understandable, Tokayev highlighted. That is why public hearings and comprehensive discussions are so important.

Earlier this week, the Coordination Council of the Parasat Entrepreneurs Alliance appealed to the president, asking him to choose a date for a nationwide referendum on the issue of NPP construction.

Authorities plan to build the first Kazakhstani NPP in the Ulken settlement in the Almaty region off the coast of Lake Balkhash as local residents have supported the idea. The NPP is expected to meet 3+ technology, providing the highest level of safety from potential failures and incidents.

Kazakhstan has already received commercial offers from leading nuclear companies such as EDF (France), CNNC (China), Rosatom (Russia) and KHNP (South Korea).

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