• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 39

Kazakhstan’s Proposed Nuclear Power Plant: a Geopolitical Tightrope amid Environmental Concerns

Renowned for its abundant uranium reserves and expansive mining ventures, Kazakhstan is making substantial progress in the realm of nuclear power. Currently, approximately 60 nuclear reactors are under construction worldwide in 17 countries, and with more in the pipeline, demand for uranium has skyrocketed. Kazakhstan is by far the world's largest producer of nuclear fuel, mining 21,227 tons in 2022, which equates to 43% of global production. Kazatomprom, the national atomic company, is the world's largest uranium producer, with its subsidiaries, affiliates, and joint ventures developing 26 deposits. Russia, Japan, China, Canada, and France are all heavily invested, whilst international agreements exist with a plethora of other nations. Kazakhstan’s inaugural venture into the nuclear field was marked by the BN-350 fast-neutron reactor in Aktau, which ran from 1973 to 1999 before being decommissioned. Now, President Tokayev has announced a referendum will be held to decide whether to build the nation’s first fully-fledged nuclear power plant. "On the one hand, Kazakhstan, as the world's biggest uranium producer, should have its own nuclear power capacity," Tokayev stated. "On the other hand, many citizens and some experts have concerns about the safety of nuclear power plants.” The Proving Ground With Kazakhstan having endured the most contamination of all the former Soviet Republics, anything nuclear is a contentious issue. Between 1949 and 1989, the authorities executed more than 750 nuclear tests in Kazakhstan, the bulk of these, including the USSR’s first successful atomic explosion - codenamed Joe-1 - taking place in the Semipalatinsk Polygon (proving ground) in the north-east of the country. By far the hardest hit area, Semipalatinsk saw 456 tests, which affected two million people across 300 square kilometers. Eager to know what to expect in the event of a nuclear war, in 1957 the Soviets secretly opened Dispensary Number Four in Semipalatinsk. Shipping in spectators - teachers were instructed to have their pupils watch explosions - the facility observed and analyzed the effects of radiation on the populous and reported their findings back to Moscow. In this post-apocalyptic land, elevated levels of cancer, tuberculosis and mental illness persist. Today, people swim in crater lakes left by blasts which dot the steppe, though animals won’t go near the water. With all agriculture banned, a vast swathe of land still remains off-limits. Pregnancies are still screened for possible termination, with 6% of babies born “polygon.” Even in inhabited areas, Geiger counters read over 250; the normal level is just fifteen. In their headlong rush to abandon the empire upon the collapse of the USSR, the Russians left more than an undetonated payload in the mines of Semipalatinsk. As soldiers rioted over conditions and unpaid wages, upon its independence Kazakhstan inherited the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. With Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi sniffing around, it was widely rumored that the Iranians, who the CIA publicly alleged to be “actively shopping,” had offered $300 million for weapons-grade uranium. Arriving in Kazakhstan post-haste, through a combination of threats, the promise of a seat at the international table...

Aral Sea Parallels Loom Over Lake Balkhash

Located 175 miles north-west of the country’s largest city, Almaty, Kazakhstan’s Lake Balkhash is the fifteenth largest lake in the world. The remains of an ancient sea which once covered vast tracts of land, on its shores in the city of Balkhash, a mixture of around 68,000 mostly ethnic Kazakhs and Russians eke out a living, predominantly through fishing and mining. But like its’ sister body of water, the Aral Sea, Lake Balkhash is under threat with its inflow sources diminishing. Fed by glaciers in Xinjiang, China, the Ili River has traditionally accounted for the vast majority of Lake Balkhash’s inflow, but according to research, as of 2021 China was blocking 40% of the river’s inflow, leading to a rise in anti-Chinese sentiments in Kazakhstan. In 1910, Lake Balkhash had an estimated surface area of 23,464 km². As recently as the 1960s, fishermen were netting a catch of over 30,000 tons annually, but by the 1990s, this had fallen to 6,600 tons of significantly less sought-after types of fish. Between 1970 and 1987 alone, the water level fell by 2.2 meters, with projects aimed at halting this decline abandoned as the Soviet Union fell into stagnation before dissolving. Currently, the lake covers a surface area of between 16,400 and 17,000 km². Falling water levels have also led to the appearance of new islands and impacted biodiversity, with 12 types of bird and 22 vertebrates indigenous to the region listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan as endangered, whilst the Caspian tiger is, in all likelihood, extinct. Meanwhile, contamination from mining, both local and upstream in China, have led to the lake being classified as “very dirty.”[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="12326" img_size="full" el_class="scond-image" parallax_scroll="no" woodmart_inline="no"][vc_column_text woodmart_inline="no" text_larger="no"]With desertification now affecting one-third of the Balkhash-Alakol Basin, which includes Almaty, the resultant dust storms are leading to an increase in the lake’s salinity, with silt from these storms further affecting inflow. Parallels to the Aral Sea – arguably the worst man-made environmental disaster in modern history – are all too apparent. Spanning across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, covering 68,000 km². The destruction of the Aral Sea first dates back as far as the U.S. Civil War, when, finding his supply of American cotton under threat, the Russian tsar decided to use the sea’s tributaries to irrigate Central Asia and create his own cotton bowl. With 1.8 million liters of water needed for every bale of cotton, the water soon began to run out. By 2007, the Aral had shrunk to one-tenth its original size. Up until the late-1990s, the land surrounding the Aral Sea was still cotton fields; today, it’s largely an expanse of salinized grey emptiness. The desiccation of the landscape has led to vast toxic dust-storms that ravage around 1.5 million square kilometers. Spreading nitrates and carcinogens, these storms - visible from space - used to occur once every five years, but now strike ten times a year.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13441" img_size="full"...

Kazatomprom Changes Work Plan for 2024

The National Atomic Company of Kazakhstan, Kazatomprom has announced that it was forced to make changes to its production plan for the current year. The main reason for the changes was a reduction in the supply of substances needed for uranium mining in Kazakhstan. In addition, it is reported that the heads of the nuclear company recognized the impossibility of implementing the approved plans to create the infrastructure necessary for new mines. The news was published by the official press service of the National Atomic Company. In 2022, the management of Kazatomprom announced the successful conclusion of a number of contracts and laid out a plan to increase uranium production over the next 2-3 years. In figures, it was set to produce 80% of the subsoil use contracts in 2023, and 90% in 2024. However, it became clear that these plans were not feasible due to concerns about increasing production. They were also rendered impossible due to changes in global imports, meaning Kazakhstan was unable to establish a supply chain of key materials and reagents for the plant, and alternative sources of necessary materials are yet to be found. Kazatomprom's press service also reported that a shortage of sulfuric acid is expected in 2024. The management of the National Atomic Company reports that it hopes to fulfill all its obligations to customers and will make every effort to do so. However, the 2025 development plan may also be revised if the supply problem persists. Changes to the current year's plan will be submitted by February 1st.

Kazatomprom Qualifies for Production of Advanced Nuclear Fuel

Kazakhstan’s National Atomic Company, Kazatomprom, the world's largest producer of uranium, says it has successfully completed the qualification process for the production of AFA 3G TM type A fuel assemblies at the Kazakh-Chinese Joint Venture, Ulba-FA LLP, which produces nuclear fuel for Chinese nuclear power plants. A document confirming the technical compliance of the product with all the mandatory quality requirements, norms and standards was provided by Framatome, the holder of technology. Work on the qualification for fuel assemblies’ production started in March 2023. As a result, the plant successfully received confirmation on the quality of its products. The qualification allows the plant to produce AFA 3G TM type A fuel assemblies, in addition to AFA 3G TM AA fuel assemblies, thus expanding the product line, Kazatomprom said. In 2024, Kazatomprom plans to commission industrial production of AFA 3GTM type A fuel assemblies and supply a batch of fuel assemblies of this type to nuclear power plants in China. The Ulba-FA plant has allowed Kazatomprom to diversify its production, expanding its product line and producing advanced, export-oriented uranium products with a high added value. With a production capacity of 200 tons of uranium in the form of fuel assemblies per year, the Ulba-FA plant has a guaranteed sales market for the next 20 years, Kazatomprom said. The launch of this innovative production has allowed Kazakhstan to enter the limited circle of countries which produce and supply nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants.

Tajikistan: US donates radiation detection equipment to Dushanbe airport

DUSHANBE (TCA) — On October 22, the Charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the donation of radiation detection equipment to the Dushanbe International Airport. This equipment was donated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) in partnership with the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency of Tajikistan. Continue reading

Kazakhstan hosts Nazarbayev Prize for Nuclear Weapon Free World and Global Security ceremony

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — The capital of Kazakhstan on August 29 hosted the Nazarbayev Prize for a World Without Nuclear Weapons and Global Security award ceremony. The Prize laureates were Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission, and former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported. Continue reading