16:54 / 01.02.2023

IAEA experts inspect the site for NPP construction in Uzbekistan

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has completed a five-day mission to Uzbekistan to review security processes in the country to assess the site of the first nuclear power plant (NPP).

Surat: Nil Xarman

The mission of the Site Design and External Events Review Service (SEED), which took place from January 16 to 20, was carried out at the request of the government of Uzbekistan and with the support of the Uzatom agency in Tashkent, the scientific portal “Atomic Energy 2.0” reports

“Uzbekistan plans to build a nuclear power plant in the southeast of the country. In 2017, the country signed an agreement with the Russian Federation on the construction of two VVER-1200 power units. In 2019, Uzbekistan began the site selection process and installed a monitoring station to collect data on seismological, hydrological, meteorological and environmental parameters,” the report reads.

SEED missions assist IAEA member states at various stages in the development of their nuclear power program. They include an analysis of site selection and design structures, systems and components, taking into account external and internal hazards specific to particular areas.

This SEED mission included a review of site data collection methods and identification of external hazards that need to be considered in the construction of VVER-1200 power units. The findings of the previous SEED site selection review mission in August 2021 were also considered.

“The expert panel determined that Uzbekistan had conducted an objective and safety-oriented site characterization process that emphasized the safety of workers, the public and the environment, in accordance with IAEA safety standards,” the Review Team Leader said. 

The mission team consisted of five experts from France, Turkey and the UK, as well as two IAEA staff. They conducted interviews with senior employees of Uzatom and relevant technical agencies and made a one-day visit to the selected site.

The scope and quality of the data collection and site monitoring campaigns were noted by the IAEA team as “an excellent basis for further development of the site.”

“We have requested the IAEA SEED mission as an integral part of our nuclear power development program that meets the highest international safety standards. The IAEA recommendations will allow us to introduce these standards literally from scratch when placing and building our first nuclear power plant,” Jakhongir Abdurakhmonov, head of the nuclear facilities construction department at Uzatom, said.

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