A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by two Japanese companies and Kazakhstan's national nuclear centre will see technical cooperation towards the introduction of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan taken to the next level.
The MOU, signed by the Japan Atomic Power Company (Japco) and Marubeni Utility Services with the National Nuclear Centre of Kazakhstan, sets out areas of technical cooperation for "serious study". It follows on from earlier agreements signed in 2007 and 2010 to study the feasibility of building nuclear power capacity in Kazakhstan. Lake Balkash in eastern Kazakhstan has been mooted as a likely location for a plant based on Japanese boiling water reactor technology.
Areas covered by the latest MOU include cooperation on project development, human resources development, feasibility studies, and the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant.
Kazakhstan does not currently have any nuclear power plants of its own, although a Russian-supplied BN-350 fast reactor operated at Aktau on the Caspian Sea coast from 1972 to 1999. Japan's nuclear industry remains committed to international nuclear trade and exports, despite the question marks that still remain over the country's domestic nuclear energy policy since the 2011 Fukushima accident.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News