A consortium of three Japanese companies has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kazakh National Nuclear Centre (NNC) to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan.
The deal between NNC and Japan Atomic Power Co (Japco), Toshiba and Marubeni sets out the content and scope of technical cooperation to study the feasibility of building nuclear power capacity in Kazakhstan. It follows the signing of an agreement in April 2007 between the countries to cooperate on the introduction of light water reactors into Kazakhstan.
The scope covered by the MoU includes support to study the conceptual design and specification of the nuclear power plant, and to provide cost estimates for its construction. It also covers the development of laws and regulations to enable the plant to be built, as well as the formation of a suitable organisation to operate the plant.
Through its overall management of the project Japco will provide proposals on construction cost estimates, advice on law and regulation, scheduling, and establishment of an operating body. Toshiba would focus on the plant concept, and Marubeni Utility Services - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marubeni - would assess economic feasibility including financing and financial evaluation.
In March 2010, Japan and Kazakhstan signed a bilateral agreement to cooperate in the peaceful uses of nuclear power. The signing of the agreement follows agreements reached during a visit by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Japan in 2008.
'The agreement is the basic document for the development of cooperation between the two countries in the field of nuclear energy, implementation of which will further strengthen the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Japan,' the Kazakh ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement at that time.
Japan and Kazakhstan signed a memorandum of cooperation in nuclear energy during an August 2006 visit by then Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. In April 2007, a number of high-level agreements on energy cooperation were signed with Japan. These included some relating to uranium supply to Japan, and technical assistance to Kazakhstan in relation to fuel cycle developments and nuclear reactor construction. Negotiations then commenced for a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement between Kazakhstan and Japan.
A single nuclear power reactor - a Russian-supplied BN-350 fast reactor at Aktau on the shore of the Caspian Sea - operated from 1972 to 1999, generating electricity and for desalination.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News