Uzbekistan, the latest country to launch a nuclear power programme, has initiated the process to select a site for a nuclear power plant and aims to grant a site licence in September 2020, local officials have confirmed. Uzbekistan is among about 30 countries that are considering, planning or actively working to include nuclear power into their energy mix.
At the request of Uzbekistan’s Government, the IAEA and the newly established Nuclear Energy Development Agency Uzatom held a workshop in February in Tashkent on safety and non-safety aspects to be considered in siting and site evaluation for nuclear power plants.
The workshop with participation of Uzatom, the nuclear regulatory body and other relevant national organizations focused on IAEA safety review services, safety standards and other resources supporting the siting and site evaluation for nuclear power plants.
“Embarking on a nuclear power programme requires a long-term commitment to nuclear safety that starts as soon as the decision to proceed is taken,” said Greg Rzentkowski, Director of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety of the IAEA. “Two important steps early in the process are the establishment of an effective legal and regulatory framework and ensuring that potential sites are properly evaluated before being selected for a nuclear installation. The IAEA safety standards provide clear guidance in both areas, and we encourage all countries to apply them.”
The workshop introduced the IAEA Milestones Approach for the development of a new nuclear power programme. It lists ‘site and supporting facilities’ as one of 19 nuclear infrastructure topics that would require action during the development of a nuclear power programme.
In line with the Milestones Approach, the IAEA provides integrated services, including on safety, security, legal and regulatory frameworks, human resource development, emergency planning and safeguards. These include peer reviews and advisory missions such as the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review and the Site and External Events Design Review Service.