Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Kazakhstan looks to nuclear amid crypto-driven energy shortage"

Uranium is a pretty big deal in Kazakhstan

From eurasianet, November 22:

The country no longer has a choice, the president says. 

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has declared that Kazakhstan’s decades-long handwringing over nuclear power has come to an end. Despite widespread fear of nuclear in a country that was used as a testing ground for the Soviet atomic weapons program, Kazakhstan no longer has a choice, Tokayev said. 

Admitting that “we are already feeling the first signs of power shortages in Kazakhstan” – in part due to the rapid increase in electricity-hungry digital-currency mining this year – Tokayev told bankers in the business capital, Almaty, on November 19 that Kazakhstan must pursue nuclear energy at some point soon. 

"Looking into the future, we will have to make an unpopular decision about building a nuclear power plant," Tokayev said. “But, as they say, the role of a leader is to make unpopular decisions." 

In recent years, Kazakh officials have often worried aloud over how to prevent a growing energy shortfall, especially as Nur-Sultan has pledged to clean up its coal-dominated power sector.  

Tokayev first publicly discussed the idea of building a nuclear power plant with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in April 2019. Putin offered to assist with Russian technology, including training Kazakh specialists to manage and maintain the plant....


One of the few frontier markets that might, just might be worth the risk.