NPP Uzbekistan is planning according to plan

The Uzbek nuclear agency Uzatom announced that the implementation of the project to build a nuclear power plant is proceeding according to plan. The agency denied reports that the implementation of the project had been suspended. The head of the Department of Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Technologies at Uzatom Kasym Takhtakhunov told Tass that all work on it is progressing as planned.

“We had a schedule, an approved roadmap, there’s no backlog, that means we’re moving according to the schedule,” he said. “We have to understand that the object is quite serious and the preliminary work must be done at a sufficiently high, serious level and on a sufficiently large scale. To date, this work is almost in the completion phase,” he added.

He explained that the special conditions of Uzbekistan had to be taken into account. “We have a strong continental climate, it is expected that in the next 30-40-50 years we will have a shortage of water resources, this also had to be taken into account.” He added that nuclear power, like any thermal power, has a used a large amount of water to cool the condensers of steam turbines, so the turbine hall had to be adapted to the local conditions, which was done. “This concerns the question of the turbine hall. It doesn’t apply to the reactor, the rest of the technology, this is a Russian reference design,” he said.

He stressed that a lot of work had been done since the project started. “Virtually all the necessary legal documents are prepared, the educational center MEPhI [a branch of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute] has been launched and is fully operational,” said Takhtakhunov. Uzbek specialists who graduated from the MEPhI in Moscow are currently doing internships in Bangladesh, and other groups are being prepared for internships in Egypt.

In September 2018, Russia and Uzbekistan signed an agreement on the construction of a nuclear power plant with two VVER-1200 generation 3+ nuclear reactors. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in 2022 and be completed in six years.

Uzbekistan and Rosatom are currently discussing how to optimize the cost of building the plant, Uzbek Deputy Energy Minister Sherzod Khodjaev told journalists June 13. In 2021, a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed a 12-day mission to Uzbekistan to review infrastructure development for the country’s nuclear energy program. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) was conducted at the invitation of the Uzbek government. The INIR team said the country’s nuclear power program has benefited from strong government support and shows a clear commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation.

Image: Uzatom Headquarters in Uzbekistan

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