8 Nov (NucNet): Kazakhstan has developed a considerable base of knowledge and experience in nuclear activities, but should develop “a comprehensive report” that summarises the assessment of all nuclear infrastructure issues, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission concluded. The eight-day mission reviewed the country’s infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme and highlighted a number of areas of potential improvement. Kazakhstan should ensure that key responsibilities and options with respect to spent fuel and radioactive waste management are developed, the INIR mission said. Kazakhstan needs to develop a plan for establishing a competent owner/operator and continue the assessment of its legal and regulatory framework for any nuclear power programme. The IAEA said that due to a desire to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, diversify primary energy sources and curtail greenhouse gas emissions, Kazakhstan is considering the potential role for nuclear power in its energy mix. The INIS team identified three good practices that would benefit other countries considering the introduction of nuclear power: early assignment of responsibilities for the development of the future owner/operator; use of a non-governmental organisation to carry out stakeholder involvement activities; use of a government commission and an expert working group to review the initial site survey and to take into account lessons learned from the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan. “Kazakhstan has undertaken several studies over a number of years and has developed a good understanding of all the infrastructure issues described in IAEA guides to the development of national infrastructure for nuclear power,” said team leader Milko Kovachev, head of the IAEA’s nuclear infrastructure development section. The IAEA said Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium producer, is developing capabilities to implement all stages of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle. It has a well-developed scientific research base, including three research reactors in operation and several other nuclear installations. It also has 25 years of experience operating the Aktau BN-350 fast breeder reactor, which is currently under decommissioning. More than 80% of electricity in Kazakhstan is currently produced from fossil fuels.