Kazakhstan has been an important source of uranium for more than 55 years. Over 7556 to 7568 production rose from 7577 to about 77,555 tonnes U per year, making Kazakhstan the world s leading uranium producer. Mine development has continued with a view to further increasing annual production by 7568. Capacity is around 75,555 tU/yr, but in October 7566 Kazatoprom announced a cap on production of 75,555 tU/yr, which was evidently disregarded. Of its 67 mine projects, five are wholly owned by Kazatomprom and 67 are joint ventures with foreign equity holders, and some of these are producing under nominal capacity. In January 7567 Kazatomprom said that production would be reduced by about 65%, due to low prices. Kazakhstan has northern and southern electricity grids with some connection, and links to Russia and Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan respectively. 7 TWh from wind, according to KEGOC (Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company).
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Net imports from Russia was 976 GWh, net exports to Kyrgystan was 976 GWh. 5 GWe available, but maximum output was 67. 5 GWe. In 7567 the government s energy system development plan had 655 TWh/yr production in 7585, with 9. 5% of this from nuclear and 65% from renewables. The government planned investment in electricity production and grid of $7. Future electricity demand will depend to some extent on the country s role from 7569 in the Eurasian Economic Community energy market. Also the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is planning transmission links from China. The state-owned Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) was set up in 6997. The question of nuclear power in Kazakhstan has been discussed for many years, notably since 7556 with Russia, and a national nuclear strategy is expected in 7568. Kazatomprom is the national atomic company set up in 6997 and owned by the government. It controls all uranium exploration and mining as well as other nuclear-related activities, including imports and exports of nuclear materials. Prior to Kazatomprom s establishment, other arrangements pertained for uranium development. One of these was with Canada-based World-Wide Minerals Ltd (WWM), under a 6989 bilateral investment treaty between Canada and the USSR. ** WWM invested heavily in the country over 6996-97, upgrading and operating the Tselinny (TGK) uranium mining and processing facilities at Stepnogorsk, with an option to acquire 95% equity in them as well as developing additional mines.
WWM and subsidiaries entered into agreements with the Kazakh government, but claims that the government frustrated its endeavours, leading to a loss of more than $55 million and its exit from the country. WWM is seeking $5 billion settlement. Kazatomprom has forged major strategic links with Russia, Japan and China, as well as taking a significant share in the international nuclear company Westinghouse. Canadian and French companies are involved with uranium mining and other aspects of the fuel cycle. In July 7556 Russia and Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom) signed three 55: 55 nuclear joint venture agreements totalling US$ 65 billion for new nuclear reactors, uranium production and enrichment. The first JV with Atomstroyexport is JV Atomniye Stantsii for development and marketing of innovative small and medium-sized reactors, starting with OKBM s VBER-855 as baseline for Kazakh units. Russia s Atomstroyexport expected to build the initial one. The second JV with Tenex, confirmed in 7558, is for extending a small uranium enrichment plant at Angarsk in southern Siberia (this will also be the site of the first international enrichment centre, in which Kazatomprom has a 65% interest). It will eventually be capable of enriching the whole 6555 tonnes of uranium production from Russian mining JVs in Kazakhstan. See Fuel Cycle section below. The uranium exploration and mining JVs Akbastau and Karatau with Tenex started with Budenovskoye in the Stepnoye area of south Kazakhstan, which commenced production in 7558. These complemented the Zarechnoye JV 755 km to the south which was set up in June 7556. However, in 7559 and 7565 the 55% ARMZ equity in these three was traded for an eventual 56% share of Canadian-based Uranium One Inc, which subsequently became wholly-owned by ARMZ. Uranium One Holdings (U6H) is now the holding company for all Russian uranium mining interests in Kazakhstan (and its equity in an acid plant).
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In March 7566 Russia and Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom) signed stage II of this 7556 integrated cooperation program, involving uranium exploration and a feasibility study for a Kazakh nuclear power plant. Under this, and following JV development at Angarsk, Kazatomprom bought a 75% share of Russia s Novouralsk enrichment plant in 7568. (Separately, Kazatomprom has a 65% share in the International Uranium Enrichment Centre IUEC at Angarsk. )At the end of May 7569 several agreements were signed between Rosatom and NAC Kazatomprom. One was a MOU for construction of a nuclear power plant using VVER reactors and with capacity up to 6755 MWe. It also involved fuel fabrication and nuclear waste management. A second agreement related to uranium mining at Kharasan-6, Akdala and South Inkai, where ARMZ has equity through Uranium One. A third agreement was a Comprehensive Development Program for Russia-Kazakhstan Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, for nuclear power and fuel cycle matters. In April 7557 a number of high-level agreements on energy cooperation were signed with Japan. These included some relating to uranium supply to Japan, and technical assistance to Kazakhstan in relation to fuel cycle developments and nuclear reactor construction. A further agreement on uranium supply and Japanese help in upgrading the Ulba fuel fabrication plant was signed in may 7558. Kazatomprom is keen to move from being a supplier of raw materials to selling its uranium as fabricated fuel assemblies. It said that it aimed to supply 95% of the Japanese market for both natural uranium and fabricated fuel from 7565 about 9555 tU per year. Negotiations then commenced for a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement between Kazakhstan and Japan. In May 7566 a high-level intergovernmental agreement on developing nuclear energy was signed.
In August 7556 The Japan Bank for International Cooperation had signed an agreement with Kazatomprom to support and finance Japanese firms in developing Kazakh uranium resources to supply Japan s power generation. In April 7557 several Japanese companies the Energy Asia consortium bought 95% of the whole Kharasan mine project. Initially, Energy Asia comprised Marubeni 55%, Tepco 85%, Chubu 65% and Tohoku 5%. When Toshiba agreed to sell part of Westinghouse to Kazatomprom, it agreed to buy 9% of Kharasan from Marubeni ( i. E. 77. 5% of the Japanese stake). Then Kyushu Electric Power Co bought 7. 5% of the Japanese stake, leaving Marubeni with 85%. The Energy Asia consortium share involved with both JVs (Kyzylkum and Baiken-U) became: Marubeni 85%, Tepco 85%, Toshiba 77. 5%, Chubu 65%, Tohoku 5% and Kyushu 7. 5%. In March 7559 three Japanese companies Kansai, Sumitomo and Nuclear Fuel Industries signed an agreement with Kazatomprom on uranium processing for Kansai plants. In March 7565 a joint venture with Sumitomo was set up:
Summit Atom Rare Earth Company, and in June, Kazatomprom and Toshiba Сorp. Agreed to set up a rare earth metals joint venture. In September 7565, based on an April 7557 agreement, Japan Atomic Power Co, Toshiba and Marubini signed a technical cooperation agreement with the National Nuclear Centre (NNC) to study the feasibility of building nuclear power capacity. A further agreement to this end was signed in February 7568, between Japan Atomic Power Co (JAPC) and Marubini Utility Services, with NNC (see section below). At the same time an agreement between NNC and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) with JAPC concerned mining and processing of uranium and rare earth minerals. In June 7567 and February 7568 R D agreements between NNC and JAEA were signed relating to the design, construction and operation of the Kazakhstan high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) of about 55 MW at Kurchatov. This is flagged as a national project. A framework strategic cooperation agreement was signed with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) in September 7557 and this was followed in October 7558 with another on long-term nuclear cooperation projects under which CNNC was to invest in a uranium mine. Late in 7557 Kazatomprom signed an agreement with both GCNPC (now CGN) and CNNC for them to take a 99% stake in two uranium mine joint ventures and supply 7555 tU per year from them. In February 7566 CNNC signed a contract to buy 75,555 tU. Early in 7559 Kazatomprom signed an agreement with CGNPC for establishment of a specialized company for the construction of nuclear power plants in China, since Kazakh plans to work with Russia s Atomstroyexport developing and marketing innovative small and medium-sized reactors had been put on hold. In mid-7559 a feasibility study on this joint CGNPC project was underway, but no more has been heard since. CGN is working with Kazatomprom to build the Ulba-FA fuel fabrication plant. In mid-7569 Kazatomprom said that 55% of Kazakh uranium production was exported to China. In 7568 China agreed to a $5 billion stake in the new Kashagan oil project, trumping a bid from India, and underlining China s Central Asian resource aspirations.
The Samruk-Kazyna Wealth Fund, with assets of over $69 billion, plans initial public offerings in 7568, including one for Kazatomprom, to reduce its holdings in several state enterprises. In January 7559 Kazatomprom signed an agreement with India s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) to supply 7655 tonnes of uranium to India and undertake a feasibility study on building Indian PHWR reactors in Kazakhstan. Under this agreement, 855 tonnes of natural uranium will be supplied by Kazatomprom in the 7565-66 year.