An international round table, “The Future of the Nuclear Power Industry and Renewable Energy Resources,” dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan, was held at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk on July 16.
Opening the round table, President of the association and Chairman of the Board of Kazatomprom Vladimir Shkolnik noted that the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan was created in 1993, in difficult times for the country. It was necessary to maintain Kazakhstan’s nuclear industry and the staff of nuclear enterprises and scientific organisations, but to redirect the work for peaceful purposes.
“The Nuclear Society appeared at the dawn of Kazakhstan’s independence, when a young country stood for a nuclear weapons-free world. One of the association’s main objectives was the promotion of initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and security,” Shkolnik said.
Since that time, Kazakhstan unequivocally stood for nuclear disarmament. The peaceful nature of the nuclear industry of Kazakhstan and its work in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime has gained worldwide recognition that has not once been mentioned at international forums such as the Global Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington, D.C. and Seoul, the UN General Assembly and others.
For 20 years, the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan has earned recognition in Kazakhstan and abroad. Today, the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan has partnerships with the nuclear communities of the leading countries with developed nuclear industries. Since 2004, the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan has been part of the World Nuclear Association (WNA), and since 2006 part of Women in Nuclear International (WIN).
The Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan currently unites more than 34,000 people who work at 47 enterprises within Kazakhstan’s nuclear industry.
One of the activities of the Nuclear Society is the provision of information to the public: a website has been designed and an industry magazine is published. The joint awareness raising work by Kazatomprom and the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan deserves special attention. They organise lectures in villages located near the uranium mines, meetings with residents of the regions, interactive lessons in schools and special schools. They also initiate independent environmental assessments in the uranium mining regions and take samples of water, soil and air samples from areas specified by villagers, sharing results with local residents.
In addition, environmental tours are conducted for representatives of environmental organisations. Participants have the opportunity not only to put questions to professionals who work in the mines, but also to visit sites and assure themselves that the uranium mining is being conducted in compliance with all necessary rules and regulations.
Events organised for industry experts include both international ones—for example, the Energy, Water and Chemistry Innovation School, which has been held for the second year with the participation of Russian, Japanese and German counterparts—and regional ones, like seminars and meetings on current topics.
The Nuclear Society works actively to attract young people to the industry. A youth division has been formed and organises events such as the conference of young specialists, “Nuclear Potential of Kazakhstan.”
Speaking at the round table, representatives of foreign delegations shared their experiences in the field of radiation and environmental safety, as well as awareness-raising activities. The nuclear experts congratulated the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan on its 20th anniversary, noting its high level of work.
The event was attended by representatives of the enterprises who are members of the Nuclear Society of Kazakhstan, such as Kazatomprom, the National Nuclear Centre, the Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Committee on Atomic Energy of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and others, as well as nuclear societies and organisations from a number of foreign countries, including the American Nuclear Society, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, the Russian Nuclear Society, the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Sources of France.