President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree “On Measures for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Republic of Uzbekistan” and a resolution “On the Organization of the Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
According to the documents, the Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy “Uzatom” will be created under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan. It will be a body of state administration responsible for the development and implementation of a unified state policy and strategic directions in the sphere of development and use of nuclear energy.
The Scientific and Technical and Expert Council will be established at the “Uzatom” Agency, including representatives of the Security Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the State State Committee of Ecology and Environmental Protection, the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Sanoatgeocontechnazorat, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, other interested ministries and departments, as well as international experts in the field of nuclear energy development.
The decree envisages the development of a draft law “On the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes” until the end of the year – the draft Concept for the development of nuclear energy in Uzbekistan for the period 2019-2029, until June 2019 – a portfolio of investment projects for the development of nuclear energy, until November 2019 – draft state program for the development of nuclear energy for the period 2019-2029.
Earlier, General director of the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev said that Uzbekistan plans to build its first nuclear power plant in Navoi province.
Rosatom had proposed to build a plant with two blocks of VVER-1200 generation III+ reactors whenever acceptable for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan and Russia began cooperation in the field of using atomic energy for peaceful purposes after signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in December 2017. At present, two working groups have been set up, which are working on a project to build nuclear power plants in Uzbekistan and in the field of scientific and technological development.
In November 2017, following the talks during the visit of Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev to Uzbekistan, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Rosatom and the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, as well as a contract for the production and supply of nuclear fuel for the VVR-SM research reactor between JSCs TVEL (a Rosatom subsidiary) and the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.