ASTANA, Kazakhstan: This week, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the government would hold a referendum to decide whether the country should build its first nuclear power plant.
He added that the date of the referendum would be decided later.
The move comes as the Kazakh government has discussed the need to increase the Central Asian country's power generation capacity.
After reviewing the issue, the government identified Russia's Rosatom as a potential partner to build a facility in the southeastern Almaty region.
However, due to safety concerns and Kazakhstan's history as a test site for nuclear weapons during the Soviet Union, many local activists have opposed the project.
"On the one hand, Kazakhstan, the world's biggest uranium producer, should have its own nuclear power capacity. On the other hand, many citizens and some experts have concerns about the safety of nuclear power plants," Tokayev said.