Aktau chosen to host first Kazakh NPP

May 19. Interfax-Kazakhstan

The first Kazakh atomic power plant (NPP) will be based in Aktau (Mangistau oblast.)

“Today we have had a decision on the location of the Aktau construction site. It has not been given a final approval yet, but the feasibility study for the Aktau NPP is in progress,” said Timur Zhantikin, the chairman of the republican Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s atomic energy committee, on Wednesday in Astana.

“The NNP construction is scheduled for completion in 2020. JV Nuclear Power Plants is conducting the feasibility study for the VBER-300 reactor NNP,” Zhantikin said.

The project has been given an environmental impact assessment and the feasibility study is at the final approval stage with the state regulators.

Zhantikin said that an NPP contractor would be announced after the bidding that would take place after the feasibility study is completed.

Kazakh Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Sauat Mynbayev said in January that before starting NPP construction Kazakhstan needs additional guarantees from Russia regarding costs of power generated by the NNP and extra guarantees on technical risks.

Earlier Kazatomprom vice president Sergei Yashin said that the feasibility study for the Aktau nuclear power plant is appraised by the state regulators, while the first block of the power plant is scheduled for launch in 2016.

“The type of the reactor has been selected, it is a pressurized water reactor of 300 Mw. According to the project, NPP is designed to have two blocks and the launch of the first one is slated for 2016,” Yashin said.

For the first time the government of Kazakhstan revealed its intent to construct a NPP near Lake Balkhash in 1998. It was also stated then that the first unit of Balkhash NPP would be put into service in 2005 and the whole plant would be running not earlier than in 2015. Later the government changed the location of the would-be nuclear plant close to Aktau in the vicinity of the decommissioned fast breeder reactor BN-350. BN-350 was put in service at MAEK energy complex in 1973.

The nuclear plant in Kazakhstan is planned at a site 10 kilometers from Aktau near the existing TETs-2 and TES-3 thermal power plants. The site is where the BN-350 fast neutron reactor was built at the Mangyshlak atomic energy complex in 1973. That reactor has been shut down and its fuel removed.