Traditional sources of electricity generation are mainly hydro and thermal power plants. Nuclear power comes in third place in this list, followed by renewable energy sources. However, according to the optimistic forecasts of the World Nuclear Association, the “Harmony” project, which is aimed at intensive development of the world’s nuclear energy, is expected to increase the share of nuclear power to 25% of the world’s electricity production (today it provides about 11%). Ensuring a low-carbon future will happen thanks to a new generation of reactors with the highest safety level.
The Director General Director of «Uzatom» Agency Jurabek Tursunpulatovich MIRZAMAKHMUDOV speaks on the issues of nuclear energy development in Uzbekistan in an interview to the «EBU».
– Jurabek Tursunpulatovich, by Decree of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev of July 19, 2018 “On Measures for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Republic of Uzbekistan” the Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan “Uzatom” was created. Can you tell us briefly what functions are assigned to your Department.
– The «Uzatom» Agency is the body of state administration in nuclear power development in the country. After forming the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in early 2019, the “Uzatom” Agency continues its activities as part of this Ministry. The main tasks and activities of our Agency are:
● preparation of proposals on priority areas of state policy in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy;
● development and implementation of state programs for the development of nuclear energy in the Republic of Uzbekistan, investment attraction, including foreign investment, for the implementation of projects in the field of nuclear energy;
● conclusion of agreements and contracts for the design, construction and operation of nuclear power facilities;
● preparation and implementation of comprehensive measures for developing nuclear science and nuclear technologies, fundamental research projects, research and development, development and innovation works, and the introduction of advanced technologies;
● ensuring the development and safe operation of research and power nuclear reactors, physical nuclear installations, storage facilities for nuclear materials and radiation sources, and disposal of radioactive waste;
● improving the system of radiation and nuclear safety of the Republic’s facilities;
● ensuring non-proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies, radioactive materials, implementation of measures for physical protection and ensuring nuclear and radiational safety;
● organization of a system of training, retraining and professional development of personnel, including in leading foreign institutions;
● international cooperation and interaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Atomic Energy Community and other international organizations.
– There are quite a few countries that use nuclear energy, and more than one country has shown interest in cooperation with Uzbekistan. What was the reason for agreeing to the construction of a nuclear power plant with Russia’s “Rosatom?”
– When planning the project, international experience was carefully researched, and the contractor was chosen based of three factors – the project’s technology, cost of work and safety of work.
When choosing a partner for the development of such a high-tech industry, Uzbekistan chose “Rosatom” State Nuclear Corporation, taking into account its long-term experience and world leadership in the field of nuclear energy.
Today, 36 power units are being built using Russian technologies in 12 countries – which is a record in the global nuclear industry for the number of power units being built abroad.
“Rosatom” State Nuclear Corporation is the only company in the world that offers a modern evolutionary project of WWER generation “3+” technology that meets modern international requirements and IAEA recommendations.
– Uzbekistan has confirmed its firm commitment to international obligations in compliance with all the requirements and recommendations of the IAEA to ensure nuclear safety. What are these requirements, and what factors influenced the choice of the territory near the Tuzkan – Aidar-Arnasay lake system as a priority site for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant?