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Russia keen to market nuclear reactors to Kazakhstan

Putin Offers Russian Help To Build Kazakh Nuclear Plant, April 06, 2019 Radio Free Europe, By Bruce Pannier

Rosatom does the same thing. The company boasts a $100 billion portfolio, and its website says it has 36 nuclear reactor projects in 12 countries — in places like Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Belarus, Iran, Turkey, Hungary, and China. Rosatom submits bids for every nuclear-power-plant contract worldwide. And Rosatom also has nuclear cooperation agreements with countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The cost of a nuclear power plant starts at around $8 billion, and that is in cases where there is only one reactor, such as Rosatom’s VVER-1000. During Putin’s visit to India in October, Rosatom signed a contract to construct six VVER reactors at a new site in India, in addition to the four other reactors Rosatom is already contracted to build at India’s Kudankulum site. Two VVER reactors are already in operation there.

Russian financial institutions usually loan most, or nearly all, of the money to those countries for the construction of such plants, and Russian nuclear-fuel provider TVEL frequently receives the contract for fuel supplies.

Different Sort Of Customer

Kazakhstan would be a different sort of customer for Rosatom. It has been the world’s leading uranium producer and exporter since 2009. And Kazakhstan does more than just extract uranium. State company Kazatomprom has worked for years, and is now able to take uranium through all the cycles, from raw uranium to nuclear fuel. From 2007 to 2017, Kazatomprom owned a 10-percent stake in Westinghouse.

So Kazakhstan has a large domestic source of uranium and can produce its own nuclear fuel; and Kazatomprom has nuclear technicians trained mostly by Russia but also some trained in Japan, France, and other countries.

Russia and Kazakhstan cooperate to mine uranium in Kazakhstan. Putin mentioned “six Russian-Kazakh enterprises for extracting and enriching uranium.”
Kazatomprom exported nearly 15,290 tons of uranium in 2018, and about 17 percent of that went to Russia.

Kazakhstan and Russia established the International Uranium Enrichment Center in Angarsk in 2007. As its name suggests, the center will provide low-enriched uranium (LEU) to interested parties. The center has been internationally hailed as ensuring a steady supply of uranium for nuclear reactors while not transferring the technology to enrich uranium.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan’s government also established an LEU bank at Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen, “a physical reserve of up to 90 metric tons of low enriched uranium suitable to make fuel for a typical light water reactor.”

The IAEA and Russia have an agreement on transporting the uranium to the LEU bank in Oskemen.
The April 4 statement from Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said nuclear-power-plant technologies from five countries, “including Rosatom,” were being studied. But the ministry also said other projects were being reviewed, such as more gas-fired plants, hydropower projects, and coal-fired thermal plants.

Proposed Locations
Russian news agency Interfax noted in its report that Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Aleksei Boroodavkin said in February, “We are hopeful that a decision will be taken soon for the construction of an atomic power station that we hope Rosatom will construct.”………. https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-putin-offers-russian-nuclear-plant-help/29865177.html

April 8, 2019 - Posted by | Kazakhstan, marketing, Russia

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