Kazakhstan Shelves Nuclear Power Plant Project

Kazatomprom plans to produce 23 000 tons of uranium in 2018

ASTANA Nov 2 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest uranium producer, has shelved plans to build its first fully fledged nuclear power plant due to excessive capacity of existing facilities, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said on Wednesday.

The Central Asian nation has been discussing the construction of a plant with Russia’s Rosatom and Japan’s Toshiba.

“Kazakhstan has a surplus of electric power,” Bozumbayev told reporters. “We see no deficit within the next seven years, so we see no (need for) new facilities such as a nuclear power plant within the next seven years.”

Kazakhstan produced 23,800 tonnes of uranium last year, about 40 percent of global mined output. The country had operated a low-power nuclear reactor in the city of Aktau between 1973 and 1999, with most of its output used for heating and desalination rather than providing electricity. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Louise Heavens)