Nuclear Power Stations May Produce Cheapest Energy in Kazakhstan

Nuclear power stations may produce cheapest energy in Kazakhstan

Nuclear power stations may become a source of cheap energy in Kazakhstan, reports citing the National Nuclear Center.

The scientists said that heat energy produced by thermal power plants working on coal is considered the cheapest energy in Kazakhstan. These stations produce 80 percent of the country’s energy. The cost of one kWh of electricity at heat power plants is around 5.5 tenge ($0.04). This value is mainly based on fuel costs, as all the plants were built dozens of years ago and do not require investments return. However, taking into account the worn-out state of the thermal power plants and their poor environmental friendliness, Kazakhstan needs to build more advanced thermal power plants or switch to other energy sources.

“Cost of the energy produced at nuclear power plant’s energy blocks with the capacity of 1,000 MW is quite competitive by the cost with the energy produced by thermal power plants. The energy blocks with less capacity are more efficient and are good for local needs (Western energy zone of the country considered for construction of the energy blocks with a capacity of up to 300 MW in Aktau),” the experts said.

According to the scientists, self-cost of the nuclear energy is mostly defined by the costs of the station’s construction costs rather than its fuel costs, unlike in cases of the existing thermal power plants. “The fuel component in the cost of the energy produced by nuclear power stations does not exceed 25 percent, while it makes 50-80 percent in the thermal power stations working on organic fuel,” the experts said. The global experience shows that the cost of 1 kWh of nuclear energy makes around 3.5 cents or 5.25 tenge. That means that the energy at new nuclear power stations may be cheaper than at the existing coal thermal power plants that require additional investments for modernization.

Wind, hydro and solar stations could be sources of renewable energy in Kazakhstan. However, the energy generated by such stations will be much more expensive. The cost of the energy has to include the investment component. For example a wind generator unit will require significant investments and the equipment will cost around $2-2.5 thousand per every kW of the capacity. With this aspect included the cost of the generated energy will reach 20-25 tenge ($0.13-0.17) per 1kWh.

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First nuclear power plants may be built in Balkhash and East-Kazakhstan oblast

Apr 18. Tengrinews

By Dmitriy Khegai

Balkhash, Aktau and Kurchatov (East-Kazakhstan oblast) are being considered as likely locations for construction of nuclear plants in Kazakhstan, reports citing Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center.

The areas of possible construction of the nuclear plants were defined considering the oblast’s energy consumption and development of power networks in the region. “Construction of the nuclear plants as the key points of the energy networks close to big cities (at Balkhash lake, in Kurchatov) is preferable as it is practical to create the core generating capacities based on unified nuclear power station blocks with the unit capacity of up to 600 MW to be increased to 1,000 MW after modernization of Kazakhstan’s energy system,” the experts said and added that a power plant could also be built in Aktau, but the capacity of its energy blocks should not exceed 300 MW.

The researchers also named several countries that were expected to take part in the international tender for construction of the nuclear power station in Kazakhstan. “Relying on the global experience of the nuclear energy development and considering the fact that it is based on the light-water reactors (80 percent of the existing energy blocks), it is practical to develop nuclear energy in Kazakhstan on the basis of LWR-type reactors of II and III+ generation. There are not many such projects in the world and not many countries have them: Japan, the U.S., South Korea and the EU,” the experts said.

According to the forecasts, the power energy deficit will be faced by Kazakhstan in general and by several of its regions in particular starting from 2015. The required cumulative capacity of the new plants to eliminate the deficiency will make around 6,600 MW by 2030.

Earlier head of the Nuclear Energy Institute of Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center stated that Kazakhstan may become a leader by export of energy among CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries in the post soviet space after switching to nuclear energy.

Yergazy Kenzhin thinks that nuclear power stations are feasible as basic energy sources that could become a “core” for the whole energy system of Kazakhstan.


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