Korea Hydro & Nuclear Corporation (KHNP) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Station (KNPP), an arm of the government's Samruk-Kazyna State Welfare Fund, to cooperate on the introduction of nuclear power in Kazakhstan.
The MOU was signed on June 28 during a visit to Seoul by a Kazakh delegation led by Kazakh Deputy Minister of Energy Zhandos Nurmaganbetov and representatives of the Rok Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and KHNP. Their trip included a visit to units 5 and 6 of the New Guri Power Plant, which is currently under construction.
Through the memorandum of understanding, the two companies agreed to cooperate in the areas of developing new nuclear power plant development, application of nuclear technology, human resources training and public acceptance.
KNHP points out that it submitted a proposal to Kazakhstan in 2019 for the construction of two 1,000 mw or 1,400 MW nuclear power plants.
Last September, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced in a national address that Samruk-Kazya would begin exploring the use of nuclear energy.
In December, KNPP signed a memorandum of cooperation with NuScale, a small modular reactor (SMR) developer, to investigate the deployment of SMR in Kazakhstan. NuScale said the agreement will see the two companies share expertise as they work on the value that NuScale's small modular reactor technology can bring to the country. The company will support KNPP in evaluating its technologies, including nuclear plant engineering, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, as well as project-specific research and design work. In 2019, NuScale submitted a "technical and price offer" to KNPP.
In February, the energy director of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Nuclear energy and Industry said the government was evaluating six suppliers. NuScale Power; GE Hitachi consortium in the US and Japan; KHNP; China National Nuclear Corporation; Rosatom; And EDF.
However, The Kazakh Energy Ministry has excluded the United States and Japan from its list of potential suppliers of technology for the nuclear power plant project as their proposed reactors have not yet been built or operated elsewhere, Interfax - Kazakhstan reported June 29.
The KNPP is preparing to submit a proposal for two new nuclear plants with a combined capacity of up to 2,800 megawatts to the president in the third quarter of this year.
Kazakhstan has 12% of the world's uranium resources and is the world's largest producer. The Russian-designed BN-350 sodium cooled fast reactor operated for 26 years until 1999 near Aktau, Kazakhstan, to generate electricity and desalinate water. The issue of nuclear power in Kazakhstan has been discussed for many years, with both large and small reactors included in various draft energy plans over the past decade.