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Scientific activity

486 employees are engaged in research and development activities in the Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including 6 doctors of sciences and 76 candidates of sciences. The Company has R&D and design institute (Institute of High Technologies LLP), as well as scientific and production subdivisions of the enterprises (UMP’s research center and Volkovgeology’s central experimental and methodological expedition).

The general coordination of R&D activities, management and commercialization of intellectual property are carried out by Kazatomprom’s Scientific and Technological Projects Department.

As part of the commercialization of R&D results Kazatomprom is working on the conclusion of license contracts for the right to use Kazatomprom’s intellectual property items.

Eighteen protection documents for intellectual property items were received in 2020.

Kazatomprom has developed the Policy “Scientific and Technological Development Management in Kazatomprom”, according to which R&D is coordinated by three research centers in the following priority areas:

  • Geology, geotechnology and mining-development work, maintenance and repair of wells and associated extraction of RM and REM at uranium deposits - on the basis of Volkovgeology JSC;
  • Extraction and processing of pregnant solutions, U3O8 production – on the basis of Institute of High Technologies LLP;
  • High technologies of NFC, production and processing of RM and REM – on the basis of the UMP’s research center;
  • Digitalization, automation and robotization is carried out by NAC Kazatomprom JSC.
  • Commercialization of intellectual property items, technology transfer (commercialization of intellectual property items and technology transfer through Kazatomprom’s intellectual property expert commission) and knowledge management is carried out by Kazatomprom’s Scientific and Technological Projects Department.

Several major R&D projects were implemented in 2020:

  • Introduction of new technologies, materials and equipment to reduce the production costs of natural uranium chemical concentrate and uranium nitrous oxide".

Industrial tests carried out in Kazatomprom-SaUran LLP showed positive technological and economic results.

  • Study of trace element and isotope composition to create the portraits of finished products of uranium mining enterprises.

The purpose of this R&D is the selection of trace element and radionuclide markers that allow identifying the product’s belonging to Kazatomprom enterprises, as well as the creation of a database of KAP enterprises products’ portraits.

  • Research of the possibility to use the simultaneous drilling technology in the uranium industry.

The purpose of this R&D is to determine the possibility of using, and scientific and technical justification of introducing the simultaneous drilling at the stage of prospecting and assessment and geological exploration of uranium deposits to be developed through an ISR method.

Environmental direction is one of the most important areas for R&D. The work was carried out on several studies aimed at improving the environmental friendliness of production:

  • Study of the influence of in-situ leaching processes on underground and ground waters with the development of methodological guidelines (Standard) in order to:
  • Control contamination of uranium deposits aquifers and reduce the risk of contamination from the ISR;
  • Development of a methodology for interpretation of aquifer monitoring data applicable at the stage of operation of mining landfills and the design of their liquidation.
  • Development of automated radiation monitoring system based on a threshold gamma radiation dosimeter with the ability to measure and control the equivalent dose and the equivalent dose rate of external gamma radiation.

The purpose of this R&D is to develop an automated monitoring system based on RKS01IM individual dosimeter. The automatic monitoring system is the information complex for monitoring and accounting of personnel’s individual radiation doses when working with radiation sources based on respective occupations of the personnel, as well as the radiation situation at the workplaces.

 

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