The IAEA site and external events design review service (Seed) team said the extent and quality of data collection and site monitoring were an excellent basis for site development.
The team said Uzatom, the state agency for the development of nuclear energy, should reorganise existing data and collect additional data according to IAEA guidelines. It should implement a management system that covers all aspects of site evaluation including work organisation, planning, independent verification and documentation.
Uzatom also needs to identify and select engineering measures to provide plant cooling and site protection from external events and finalise a preliminary safety analysis report. This would ensure “well-informed decision-making” related to construction licensing, investments and safety assessment phases.
The mission, which took place from 16 to 20 January, was carried out at the request of the government of Uzbekistan and hosted by Uzatom in the capital, Tashkent.Agreement Signed With Russia For VVER Plants
Uzbekistan is planning to construct the station in the southeast of the country. In 2017 the country signed an agreement with Russia to construct two VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors. In 2019 Uzbekistan began the process of choosing the site and installed a monitoring station for data collection on seismological, hydrological, meteorological and environmental parameters.
IAEA missions help member states at different stages in the development of a nuclear power programme. This includes reviewing site selection, site assessment and design of structures, systems and components, taking into consideration site specific external and internal hazards.
The mission included the review of the site data collection methods and of identification of external hazards that need to be considered with reference to the construction of the VVER-1200 units. The conclusions of a previous Seed review mission on site selection in August 2021 were also considered.
In 2021 a separate IAEA team said Uzbekistan’s nuclear power programme benefits from strong governmental support and shows a clear commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation.
The team said Uzbekistan had made significant progress in nuclear power project development and taken steps to improve its legal and regulatory framework and strengthen the regulatory body.