Russia and Kazakhstan to ink nuclear power accord this year

02 March 2016

Russia and Kazakhstan are preparing to sign an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in research and development in the nuclear energy sector, Rosatom said yesterday. Vyacheslav Pershukov, the Russian state nuclear corporation's head of design and innovation, led a delegation to Kazakhstan last week to discuss potential joint projects in the sector.

"We have talked about how to harmonise aspects of the agreement, have noted real progress in our mutual understanding of how to implement its programs, and hope that we shall sign an agreement this year," Pershukov said. The Kazakh side "has asked to extend the scope of activities under the agreement and to include work on nuclear and radiation physics," he added.

The two sides have also agreed to include in the agreement the possibility of Kazakhstan's participation in the international research centre for the MBIR complex that is under construction at the site of the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors, in Dimitrovgrad, Russia. MBIR is the Russian acronym for multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor.

Pershukov also said that Kazakhstan's nuclear experts are interested in joint programs in nuclear medicine, including for the supply of medical isotopes.

During the visit, the Rosatom delegation toured the National Nuclear Centre of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which was established in 1992 in the town of Kurchatov. They acquainted themselves, Rosatom said, with the work of the Semipalatinsk Test Site and the Kazakhstan Material Study Tokamak for material testing, which produced its first plasma in 2010.

Pershukov said he had observed "noticeable progress" over the last ten years in the development of the National Nuclear Centre. He noted that at the Semipalatinsk Test Site there is a "unique system of environmental radiation monitoring thanks to the introduction of modern diagnostic equipment to laboratory facilities."

It is clear, he said, that the town of Kurchatov is growing and that the National Nuclear Centre is attracting a lot of young professionals, with the average age of its employees being about 36.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News