The country’s energy minister Alisher Sultanov also told the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 64th annual general conference that Uzbekistan is close to establishing procedures for licensing and issuing regulatory permits for nuclear energy.
This follows recent procedural progress for safety examinations of nuclear facilities by Uzbek regulatory bodies, Mr Sultanov said.
Draft decisions on Uzbekistan’s accession to four international conventions have also been prepared, for which adoption is expected by the end of 2020. These are:
* Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.
* Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.
* Convention on Nuclear Safety.
* Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
Mr Sultanov confirmed a mission of experts will review the country’s progress towards the infrastructure required for a nuclear power programme. The review is scheduled to take place by the end of 2020.
Jurabek Mirzamahmudov, first deputy minister of energy and head of the state nuclear agency Uzatom, told a World Nuclear Association webinar recently that talks were also continuing with Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom on a draft EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contract for the Russia-supplied reactors.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped work on the nuclear programme and engineering surveys have started at a preferred site, an area near Lake Tuzkan in Jizzakh province, west of the capital Tashkent in the east of the country.
In May Uzbekistan’s energy ministry said it was preparing a strategy confirming plans to go ahead with the construction of 2,400 MW of nuclear capacity that will begin commercial operation by 2030.