Press Release: Atomic industry workers day

Sept 28. Kazatomprom. Almaty

Press Release: Atomic industry workers dayToday, on September 28, Kazakhstan atomic industry celebrates its professional holiday. The Decree regarding institution of Atomic Industry Members Day was signed by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 12, 2008, in pursuance of Article 4 of the Kazakhstan Law dated December 13, 2001 “Regarding public holidays in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. In honor of this holiday the most distinguished members were presented with Certificates of Honor. The President of Kazatomprom Vladimir Shkolnik when congratulating his colleges has noted: «Occurrence of new holiday in the calendar is indicative of an important role which the Head of the State assigns to atomic industry in economic and scientific-technical development of the country. From the moment of its birth the atomic industry has been a locomotive engine, initiator of the most revolutionary innovations in various spheres. And today we are doing everything necessary to implement the plans of our company, realize all our global creative initiatives».

 Brief history of atomic industry of Kazakhstan

1948 – Foundation of Volkhovskaya expedition (at present – Volkhovgeology JSC, the oldest structural unitbranch of Kazatomprom)

1949 – Manufacturing by Plant 2a, later known as Ulba Metallurgical Plant, which celebrates its 60-years anniversary this year, of its first products (thorium oxalate)

1951 – Discovery of the first uranium deposit Kurdai in Kazakhstan

1957 – Establishing of the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) under Kazakhstan Academy of Science (AC) on the basis of AC Physics and Technology Institute

1967 – Commissioning of test nuclear reactor BBP-K in Alatau village (20km from Almaty) under Institute of Nuclear Physics

1972 – Start-up of the first in the world pilot commercial fast breeder reactor BN-350 in Actau city which successfully was operating over 25 years and now is being decommissioned.

1991 – Signing by President of RK N.Nazarbayev the Decree “On closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site »

1992 – Foundation of Kazakh State Corporation of nuclear energy and atomic industry enterprises (later KATEP)

1993 – Accession of Kazakhstan to Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty

1997 – Foundation by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbaeyv of the National Atomic Company Kazatomprom.

 During the past year Kazatomprom has implemented a number of projects including the projects of innovation character. For instance, starting up of commercial production of high-capacity tantalum powders on the basis of Ulba plant with their own researches applied; opening of Khorassan-1 mine (capacity 3 thousand ton/year) and Irkol mine (capacity 750 tons); putting into service of infrastructure facilities at the site of future sulphuric plant in Kyzylorda oblast with capacity of 500 thousand ton/year. The agreements signed with India and China in the field of natural resources and joint creation of high-technology production operations of nuclear fuel cycle became important for the company and for the country on the whole. The joint plans with Japan for mining and processing of rare and rare-earth metals in Kazakhstan are being developed. The signing of constitutive documents of the Joint Venture with Areva (France) is expected in the nearest future which is going to manufacture on the basis of Ulba plant the fuel assemblies both for the reactors of French type and power generating units of other design. At present activity for transfer of fuel fabrication technology is going on and certification of fuel pellets for reactors of Japan, USA and China is being conducted that will allow Kazatomprom to expand its presence in the world fuel market. Today National Atomic Company fulfils all production plans. For the first six months of the current year the company outstripped the target of uranium production plan at 9%.

By the beginning of 2009 school year the new building of local school was installed in Shiyeli village of Kyzylorda oblast that allowed doubling of a number of pupils. Besides 16-apartments house for company’s personnel was put into service in this village. In Kyzemshek village in South-Kazakhstan oblast 70-apartment house for personnel of the company was constructed and the modern stadium was put into service.  

Today atomic industry is one of the most high-technology, high-capacity and cost-effective industries in the country. Thanks to the achievements of the domestic atomic industry Kazakhstan has become a key player on the world atomic scene. Against slowing down of the uranium mining rate in other exporting countries the Republic continues systematic pursuing of the programs declared including programs for considerable expansion of mining output. This permits for international nuclear community to make optimistic forecasts regarding development of the world nuclear power. Thus, Kazakhstan makes its contribution to the dawning of nuclear Renaissance. The potential obtained in the course of operational activity and alluring prospects give a chance to the members of Kazakhstan atomic industry steadily face the future where energy of atom is given a particular role.

Kazatomprom is the national operator of the Republic of Kazakhstan for export of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, special purpose equipment, technologies and double-use materials. The main activities of the company are: geological exploration, uranium production, manufacture of nuclear fuel cycle products, reactor construction, nuclear power plants, non-ferrous metallurgy and production of construction materials, the electric energy sector, scientific support of production and social welfare and training of personnel. Today Kazatomprom has more than 25,000 employees and is amongst the leading uranium production companies in the world.