Kazakhstan studying French experience in construction and operation of nuclear power plants

NUR-SULTAN — Since July 18, a Kazakhstan delegation has been in France to get acquainted with the French experience in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants and development of nuclear energy. The delegation includes representatives of the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP, the National Nuclear Center, KEGOC JSC, KazAtomProm JSC, and experts in the nuclear and energy industries, Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna national welfare fund reported.

During the visit, meetings were held at the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy of France, and negotiations were held with the French operator of the NPP – Eléctricité de France. A separate meeting was held with Mr. Olivier Becht, the Minister-Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Affairs Abroad under the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

During the negotiations, the models of financing nuclear projects were studied in detail, both with the involvement of public funds and provision of state guarantees, as well as the experience of attracting private investment in these projects.

The delegation also visited the Flamanville NPP. The station is located on the shore of the English Channel, 23 km southwest of the city of Cherbourg.

Zhandos Nurmaganbetov, the Vice-Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan, said at the meeting at the Ministry of Energy of France that Kazakhstan has embarked on carbon neutrality, work is underway to approve a low-carbon Development Strategy until 2035, which provides for measures for deep decarbonization. The construction of a nuclear power plant will help solve not only the issues of the impending shortage of electricity, but also, along with renewable energy sources, will contribute to the development of low-carbon generation in the country.

Mr. Laurent Michel, the Head of the General Directorate of Energy and Climate (DGEC) of the Ministry of Energy of France, said: “France welcomes Kazakhstan’s desire to ‘green up’ Kazakhstan’s energy sector and is aimed at long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation in this industry”.

France ranks 2nd in the world (after the USA) in the number of nuclear reactors: 69% of the country’s electricity is generated at nuclear power plants. France is also the world’s largest net exporter of electricity and receives more than €3 billion a year.

Kazakhstan is studying proposals from the world’s leading companies for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country. At the moment, a shortlist of four suppliers with time-tested high-power reactor technologies with operational experience has been compiled. It includes Korean KHNP, Chinese CNNC, Russian Rosatom, and French EDF.

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