By BBC Monitoring
Uzbekistan's UzAtom Agency has said that the preparations for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the country are going according to plan and are at their final stage, the privately-owned Fergana news website reported on 20 June.
"We had a schedule, an approved roadmap. We are not behind it, that is to say, we are following the schedule. It is necessary to understand that the facility is quite a serious one and the preparations must be at a sufficiently serious high level and big enough. Today the work is, in fact, nearing completion," the report quoted the head of the agency's directorate responsible for nuclear technologies, Qosim Tokhtakhunov, as saying.
He noted that they had to take into consideration "specific conditions in Uzbekistan". "We have a sharp continental climate. A shortage of water resources is expected in our country in the next 30,40 or 50 years. We also had to take this into account," the official went on to say.
Earlier, Uzbek Deputy Energy Minister Sherzod Khojayev said that his country was continuing negotiations with Russia's national atomic energy company, Rosatom, in order to optimise the cost of the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan reached an agreement with Russia in 2018 to build a $11bn nuclear power plant. Rosatom will build a nuclear power plant for the country but there is no binding contract yet. The plan is being fiercely resisted by the public and the expert community in the Central Asian state.
Source: Fergana news agency website in Russian 1200 gmt 20 Jun 22