Kazakhstan to hold referendum on nuclear plant construction - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

© APA | President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

# 01 September 2023 10:28 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan will hold a referendum to decide whether to build its first nuclear power plant, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday, adding that the date would be decided later, APA reports citing Reuters.

The Central Asian nation's government has long discussed the idea, citing the need for new power generation capacity, and even identified a planned location for the facility in the southeastern Almary region and mentioned Russia's Rosatom as a potential partner.

But some activists oppose the project because of safety concerns and Kazakhstan's history as home to the Soviet-operated Semei nuclear weapons testing ground.

"On the one hand, Kazakhstan, as the world's biggest uranium producer, should have its own nuclear power capacity," Tokayev said. "On the other hand, many citizens and some experts have concerns about the safety of nuclear power plants."