The first nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan may be built in Navoi province [in the west of Uzbekistan], said the general director of the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev.
The nuclear power plant project was in the heart of our talks. We got a proposal for plant location in Navoi province, Likhachev said on Wednesday after a meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirzeev.
According to him, in the coming days a working group will visit the site to collect the necessary information,t the parties agreed on approaches to implement the project.
Likhachev said, it will be deal when the client and the contractor’s roles are not clearly set out, as if we were building for ourselves. We apply this kind of approach in Russia and Belarus only. We will be deciding on everything together. This in turn shortens the timeframe and prevents price escalation. At the same time, we will be working on creating a modern nuclear infrastructure in Uzbekistan.
According to him, the country required an agency that would oversee this work, and a regulator, say a nuclear inspectorate, which will oversee compliance with the four eyes principle.
On the one hand, we have to advance the entire project base: intergovernmental agreement, contracts, phases of work, etc. On the other hand, the regulator should be consulted for site parameters, seismic, water supply, electricity and other factors, and at the same time we have to develop human resources.
According to him, the construction will require up to 10 thousand building personnel, with 1.5 thousand skilled staff needed to operate the plant.
Likhachev added that the Uzbek president set the task of training personnel in Russia, as well as to facilitate training locally, as cooperating closely in the human resource development area is required to implement the nuclear project in Uzbekistan. From this year, Uzbekistan students has been given a quota to study in nuclear programs in Russia.
He added during the conversation with the President the non-nuclear use of nuclear technologies, in particular, the use of isotope technologies in medicine, in agriculture and in the science were also mentioned.
Rosatom had proposed to build a plant with two blocks of VVER-1200 generation III+ reactors whenever acceptable for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan and Russia began cooperation in the field of using atomic energy for peaceful purposes after signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in December 2017. At present, two working groups have been set up, which are working on a project to build nuclear power plants in Uzbekistan and in the field of scientific and technological development.
In November 2017, following the talks during the visit of Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev to Uzbekistan, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Rosatom and the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, as well as a contract for the production and supply of nuclear fuel for the VVR-SM research reactor between JSCs TVEL (a Rosatom subsidiary) and the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.