Nuclear energy in Kazakhstan

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As of 2015, Kazakhstan has no active nuclear power generation capacity.[1] The country's only nuclear power plant, the BN-350 sodium-cooled fast reactor located near Aktau in Mangystau Region, ceased generating in June 1999 after 26 years of operation, and was decommissioned in 2001.[1] However, the plant's primary purpose was desalinization, not electricity generation, so its power output was limited. The country's National Nuclear Center (NNC) also operates three research reactors at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site.[2]

In 2003, the Kazakh Minister of Energy and Mines announced plans for the construction of a new nuclear power plant by 2018. The two- or three-unit plant was to be established on the shores of Lake Balkhash in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan.[3] However, these plans were later amended – in January 2013, President Nursultan Nazarbayev gave the government one month to submit new proposals for the construction of a nuclear power plant.[4] In September 2013, the Director General of the NNC, Erlan Batyrbekov, recommended the construction of a nuclear power plant to ensure Kazakh energy security.[5] In May 2014, Russia and Kazakhstan signed a preliminary cooperation agreement regarding the construction of a new nuclear power plant with a generating capacity of between 300 and 1,200 MW.[6]

Kazakhstan's thermal neutron pool-type reactor WWR-K was commissioned in 1967. In order to decrease proliferation risks, Kazakhstan started the program to convert WWR-K to LEU. Kazakhstan’s Institute of Nuclear Physics developed and implemented comprehensive safety programs for the reactor. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also provided recommendation on how ensure further continuous safety improvements on WWR-K.[7]

Nuclear Security Training[edit]

Kazakhstan first announced to establish a nuclear security training in 2009. The construction began in December 2015 and was completed in February 2017 in Almaty. In May 2017 the authorities of Kazakhstan announced that the Nuclear Security Training would start its operation in June 2017. The center is aimed at providing training and education programs to the scientists specializing in nuclear energy.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Countries – Kazakhstan – Analysis". US Energy Information Agency. October 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Experimental complexes". National Nuclear Center (NNC) of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Survey of energy resources" (PDF). World Energy Council. 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Kazakhstan Announces Record Uranium Production for 2012". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kazakhstan would benefit from a nuclear power plant: Batyrbekov". Tengri News. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Russia helps Kazakh nuclear power plans". World Nuclear News. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Major Safety Improvements at Kazakhstan's Research Reactor". IAEA Review. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Nuclear security training center opens in Almaty".