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Our business

Scientific activity

To increase the efficiency of implementation of the Development Strategy of NAC Kazatomprom JSC (Kazatomprom or the Company) for 2018-2028 in accordance with the Policy for the Management of Scientific and Technological Development, The Company conducts scientific research related to planning, monitoring and implementation of R&D, scientific and technical services (STS), creation and commercialization of intellectual property items (IPI), integration of R&D results.

Scientific research is conducted by three scientific centers: Institute of High Technologies LLP (research and design institute), the Scientific Center of  Ulba Metallurgical Plant JSC and Central experimental and methodical Expedition of Volkovgeology JSC (research and production subdivisions of enterprises).

Scientific and technical activities, the formation of new areas of scientific research/development, including digitalization, automation and robotization, knowledge management, commercialization of intellectual property items and technology transfer are coordinated by the Scientific and Technical Projects Department of Kazatomprom.

Priority areas of R&D and STS:

  • Geology, geotechnology and mining preparatory work, repair and restoration work of wells and associated extraction of RM and REM at uranium deposits on the basis of Volkovgeology JSC;
  • Mining and processing of pregnant solutions, U3O8 obtaining on the basis of Institute of High Technologies LLP;
  • High technologies of nuclear fuel cycle, production and processing of RM and REM on the basis of the Scientific Center of Ulba Metallurgical Plant JSC.
  • Digitalization, automation and robotization;
  • Commercialization of IPI and technology transfer (through the expert commission on intellectual property of Kazatomprom) and Knowledge Management.

422 employees are engaged in research and design activities in Kazatomprom and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including 2 doctors of sciences and 55 candidates of sciences.

Kazatomprom is the Patent Holder/Copyright Holder of 67 intellectual property objects, of which 3 Eurasian patents for invention, 27 Patents of the Republic of Kazakhstan for invention, 12 Patents of the RK for utility model, 21 Certificates of the RK for objects of copyright and 4 Certificates of the RK for a trademark.

As part of the IPI commercialization, Kazatomprom is working to conclude licensing agreements for the right to use intellectual property items of the Company.

Kazatomprom annually implements R&D projects in various areas, based on modern technologies and advanced research methods, which allow us to obtain accurate and reliable data. Key and promising R&D projects:

  • Study of the possibility of using ammonia water to obtain uranium concentrate from rich eluate

Obtaining uranium concentrate corresponding to ST RK 1909/ST NAC 02/ ASTM C 967, by precipitation and thermal calcination of ammonium polyuranates, makes it possible to reduce the costs of producing finished uranium products. The RK Patent for utility model No. 4851 “Method of obtaining natural uranium concentrate” was received and integrated in a number of enterprises of Kazatomprom, with which corresponding license agreements were concluded.

  • Study of microelement and isotopic composition to create portraits of finished products of uranium mining enterprises

The choice of microelement and radionuclide markers makes it possible to identify the belonging of a product to the enterprises of Kazatomprom, as well as to create databases (libraries) of portraits of products of the enterprises. Certificate for copyright object No. 37147 “Mass spectrometric method for determining elements - markers of finished products (uranium concentrates) of uranium mining enterprises of Kazatomprom” was received.

  • Development of a multi-channel well pumps control cabinet (Cabinet)

The development of a multichannel Cabinet is a solution to a complex technological problem of individually controlling well pumps. In 2023, successful field tests of the multi-channel Cabinet and software for its control were carried out; production is expected in 2024. The following documents of title have been received: RK Patent for utility model No. 7676 “Multi-channel pump control cabinet”, Certificate of copyright No. 28772 “Software algorithm for controlling well pumping equipment”.

  • Introduction of new technologies, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of chemical concentrate of natural uranium and uranium oxide

The introduction of new technologies, materials and equipment leads to an increase in the content of uranium in the finished desorbates and a decrease in the content of excess acidity relative to it. The project “Pilot plant for nanofiltration of finished desorbates” was introduced at Kazatomprom-SaUran LLP with a positive technological result and economic effect.

  • Optimization of process solution flows during acidification and block mining

This project increases the efficiency of mining uranium deposits using the ISL method based on the integrated use of modern geographic information systems for the design of process units. Software has been developed and Copyright Object Certificate No. 10493 “Software package for studying uranium mining using the ISL method with obtaining a Simulator version 3.0” has been obtained.

The main significant areas of scientific research as part of radiation safety:

  • Development of an automatic monitoring system for radiation hazards based on a threshold gamma radiation dosimeter with the ability to measure and control the equivalent dose and equivalent dose rate of external gamma radiation

The automatic monitoring system based on the individual dosimeter "RKS01IM" is an information complex for monitoring and recording individual radiation doses of personnel received when working with radiation sources, taking into account the professional route of personnel, as well as the radiation situation at the workplaces of personnel. The functionality of the automatic monitoring system has been confirmed; RK Patent No. 35902 and Eurasian Patent No. 044050 for the invention “Automatic Monitoring System” have been obtained.

 

  • Study of radionuclide composition and total α-activity of air in the working area of uranium mining enterprises

The study of the radionuclide composition and total α-activity of the air in the working area of uranium mining enterprises makes it possible to determine dose transition coefficients and the following characteristics: distribution of uranium dust particles in the air of the working area according to PM2.5 and PM10 fractions, mass concentrations of suspended particles, volumetric activity of uranium and elements uranium series in uranium dust particles, integral dose coefficient taking into account the distribution of activity along the median aerodynamic diameter. Work on this project is in progress.

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