Russia’s state atomic corporation Rosatom and Kyrgyzstan agreed on January 20 to cooperate on the construction of small modular reactor nuclear power plants in the Central Asian country.
On the sidelines of Expo 2020 in Dubai, Kyrgyzstan’s Energy and Industry Minister Doskul Bekmurzaev and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev signed a memorandum of understanding, expressing their interest in developing cooperation to construct a small modular reactor nuclear power plant based on the RITM-200N reactor plant in Kyrgyzstan. Additionally, the memorandum of cooperation envisages assistance in the development of nuclear infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan and joint work to improve the qualification of R&D and technical support personnel in various areas of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Rosatom said.
“Implementing SMR NPP projects is one of the top priorities of the Rosatom State Corporation; they will considerably change the energy mix of many countries around the globe and contribute to the development of remote areas with locked energy grids,” Likhachev said, adding that the construction of a plant like this in Kyrgyzstan will not only improve the country’s energy independence, but also contribute to the public’s quality of life and the development of R&D and technology potential in Central Asia as a whole.
For his part, the Kyrgyz minister said decarbonization and the development of environmentally clean sources of energy is a current global trend Kyrgyzstan would like to follow. “We are confident that further cooperation with the Rosatom State Corporation will open up new horizons for the development of our country’s energy sector, economy and industry,” Aitaliev said.
Rosatom’s SMR projects are based on the latest RITM reactors developed by incorporating many years of operating experience of small reactors in the icebreaker fleet, Rosatom said, adding that the Russian company is currently building the first-of-a-kind on-land SMR NPP in the world in the Ust-Yansk District of the Republic of Sakha in Yakutia, which is home to one of the largest gold deposits in Russia, Kyuchus. The plant construction is due to be complete in 2028.