The government of Kazakhstan approved on April 14 a long-term state program for the development of nuclear power. Unveiled by Science Minister Vladimir Shkolnik, also president of Kazakhstan’s Academy of Sciences, the program centers on the projected nuclear power plant on the shore of Lake Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan. The plant is due to be equipped with three Russian-made VVER reactors, each with 640 megawatt capacity. The first power block is planned to become operational in 2005. The remaining two are not forecast to be ready until 2012. The project is expected to cost $2 billion.
The program further envisages building nuclear-powered thermal plants for the cities of Almaty, Akmola and Ust-Kamenogorsk from 2012 to 2020. The government plans to encourage foreign capital investment in these projects. It proposes to retain regulatory control over the plants, but at the same time to turn them over to foreign companies in part-ownership or trust management. (Russian agencies, April 14 and 15) — VS
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