Belarus, Kazakhstan to cooperate in nuclear power
Belarus and Kazakhstan yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Belarusian Energy Ministry has announced. The document was signed by Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk and Kazakhstan Deputy Energy Minister Bakytzhan Dzhaksaliev.
Kazakh and Belarusian deputy energy ministers at the memorandum signing (Image: Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus)
The memorandum provides for the “exchange of experience in the development and adoption of legislation and technical documentation for the construction of a nuclear power plant, as well as for other uses of nuclear energy”, the ministry said.
It envisages cooperation in: improving safety in the operation of nuclear facilities; the physical protection of these facilities, nuclear materials and the sources of ionizing radiation; the control and accounting of nuclear materials, sources of ionizing radiation and radioactive waste; monitoring the release of radioactive substances; licensing, standardisation and other management approaches to the uses of nuclear energy; scientific and technical research; and the training of Kazakh nuclear personnel.
The memorandum was signed during the visit to Belarus of a delegation from the Kazakh Energy Ministry between 23 and 25 May.
Belarus is building its first nuclear power plant using the Russian VVER-1200 AES-2006 design. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning next year, with the second unit to be brought online in 2020. The Ostrovets plant will give 2340 MWe net capacity on line. An intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Belarus specifically on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed in March 2011.
Kazakhstan has 12% of the world’s uranium resources and an expanding mining sector, producing about 24,575 tU in 2016, but then reducing slightly. In 2009 it became the world’s leading uranium producer, with almost 28% of world production, then 33% in 2010, rising to 41% in 2014, and 39% in 2015 and 2016. A single Russian nuclear power reactor operated from 1972 to 1999, generating electricity and desalinating water. At the end of May 2014, several agreements were signed between Rosatom and NAC Kazatomprom. One was an MoU for construction of a nuclear power plant using VVER reactors and with capacity up to 1200 MWe.