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    IAEA mission inspects Kazakh nuclear facilities

    March 30, 2023 - BBC International Reports (Central Asia)


      By BBC Monitoring

      An IAEA mission has begun a four-day inspection of nuclear facilities in Kazakhstan, the privately-owned news website Kazakhstan Today reported on 28 March.

      "IAEA experts embarked in Astana on Tuesday, 28 March, on a mission on the integrated nuclear infrastructure review of Kazakhstan (INIR). The mission will be over on 31 March," the report quoted the Kazakh Energy Ministry's press service as saying.

      It noted that experts of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, Mehmet Ceyhan and Thibault Reiset, and UK expert Stephen Mortin were members of the mission and that officials from some Kazakh ministries, the national uranium and nuclear fuel company Kazatomprom and other companies were also taking part in the mission's work.

      "In line with recommendations of the IAEA, it is necessary to assess in the first phase of the development of a nuclear energy programme the state of Kazakhstan's nuclear energy infrastructure, which is an important tool for developing and introducing safe, reliable and sustainable use of nuclear energy before a decision is made to build a nuclear power plant," the report said.

      In October, the head of the Kazakh national welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna, Almasadam Satkaliyev, said that an international consortium comprising companies from several countries will build a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. He suggested the final decision on the potential project would be taken in 2023.

      Quoting the national atomic company Kazatomprom, the privately-owned KazTAG news agency reported in December 2022 that Kazakhstan had started delivering nuclear fuel to Chinese atomic power plants. "The first batch of fresh nuclear fuel - AFA 3G TM fuel assemblies - has been delivered to China from the Ulba-TBC (a joint Kazakh-Chinese) plant, a limited liability partnership," the report said.

      The Chinese atomic corporation CGNPC-URC received the wagons with 34 transportation and storage containers that carry the fuel assemblies needed for one reload (slightly over 30 tonnes of low-enriched uranium), it said. Ulba-TBC, launched in November 2021, is Kazakhstan's only plant that produces nuclear fuel for atomic power stations and that has a guaranteed market for 20 years in advance, the report added.

      Source: Kazakhstan Today news agency website, Almaty, in Russian 1509 gmt 28 Mar 23


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