Sunday, 25, February, 2024

Energy Minister Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov, in an interview with Daryo, commented on the status of the Uzbekistan nuclear plant project. According to him, meetings and talks with the Russian Rosatom are ongoing. 

“Procedures are taking place based on IAEA requirements, site licensing, bringing into compliance, and development of regulatory documents. While, recently, with the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology based on the agreement, we are analyzing this in parallel. Do we have to build a large station or low-power stations? Now analysis and calculations are being made not only on the experience and technology of Russia, but also on other foreign countries. Work in this area has not been suspended,” he said. 

“Taking into account the fact that this is a very large strategic project, we need not to rush, you need to weigh everything, measure not 7 times, but 77 times. After a complete analysis and calculations, we can submit a report to the government and the president,” the head of the Ministry of Energy emphasized. 

The Daryo interview was published on November 23. At the same time, the general director of the Russian Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, speaking at the Primakov Readings forum on November 27-28, said that the contract for Uzbekistan nuclear power plant project “is at the final stage of drafting.” 

“In 2019, in our understanding, we reached all the main decisions. […] The pandemic has stopped many processes, but I cannot call the Uzbek project a stopped project. […] Work on the contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant is at the final stage,” said the head of Rosatom, adding that the development of the project continues. 

“We made additional proposals, including on low power and on personnel training. Work on the contract is going quite intensively, and I think that, in general, we are not far from signing the contract,” TASS quotes Likhachev. 

In May, Energy Minister Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov already said that Uzbekistan continued to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant with Rosatom, and is also simultaneously studying advances in the field of small nuclear reactors. “The construction of a nuclear power plant is a very serious obligation for the state... We must eliminate any risks,” he said then. 

In August, Uzbekistan and Hungary agreed that if progress was made on the construction of a nuclear power plant, Hungarian dry cooling technology would be used, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said. According to him, this project involves cooperation worth hundreds of millions of euros. 

In the summer of 2022, former deputy Minister of Energy Sherzod Khojaev stated that Uzbekistan was discussing with Rosatom a reduction in the costs of constructing a nuclear power plant. If the price of electricity produced at the station is not competitive compared to other sources, then the conclusion about whether the project is worth implementing is “obvious,” he said.

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