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Kazakhstan: Russia Offers To Build Nuclear Plant

Moscow, 20 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Interfax said today Russia has offered to build a nuclear power plant near Lake Balkhash in southern Kazakhstan.

According to Interfax, Kazakhstan is now considering a draft agreement prepared by the Russian side for the project worth $2 billion. The agency said the plant would have three reactors with a total capacity of 1,900 megawatts. Plant construction should start in 1999 and the first reactor would enter into service in 2005, with the other two coming on line during the next five years.

Under the draft document, Russia would provide Kazakhstan with nuclear fuel and accept spent fuel back for reprocessing. Interfax said Kazakhstan will finance the construction of the plant itself, including from funds received under bilateral agreements.

The ex-Soviet republic has no nuclear power plants and has surrendered to Russia all nuclear weapons inherited after the 1991 Soviet collapse.