“Institute of High Technologies” LLP successfully works to achieve strategic goals identified in its Development Program for 2016-2025 to ensure innovative development of the industry and support high-tech production cycles of the uranium industry in Kazakhstan at a sufficiently high scientific and technological level with the following indicators:
1. New technologies, technical solutions, and equipment have been developed and improved that allow reducing the cost price of natural uranium mining and increase production efficiency. The main technologies and technical solutions are:
- Automated system for support of well construction and operation, which was tested at the branch of JSC “Volkovgeologiya” and is ready for implementation;
- Effective methods to prevent various types of colmatation during uranium in-situ leaching and to carry out repair and restoration work. A mobile installation for chemical treatment of the filter part of process wells has been designed and introduced into production.
- Effective technologies for the processing of product solutions, which have passed the pilot industrial tests, ready for industrial testing and introduction into production:
- Technology of ultrasonic influence on uranium desorption;
- Technology of precipitation of small crystals of uranium peroxide using special reagents-precipitators.
- A promising technology for applying nanofiltration to remove excess acidity from process solutions with simultaneous concentration of metals in them.
- “Requirements for ion exchange resins for enterprises JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” have been developed and enforced by the order of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” No. 108 dated May 26, 2017 Standard ST NAC 20-2017.
2. Two innovative projects have been implemented:
1) A mobile complex was developed and created to extract uranium from product solutions and designed to operate at sites located in a distance from processing plants andrequiring significant financial costs to launch regular operations.
Currently, the branch of “Stepnoe-RU”“Kazatomprom – SaUran” LLP operates the mobile complex and its operation results have proven efficient. The mobile complex has been patented.
Based on the Institute’s project and with its participation (author's supervision) JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” built and commissioned a mobile complex for pilot production of uranium at the “Zhalpak” field with a capacity of 250 m3 / h.
2)To develop the analytical service of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” the Institute created the Laboratory of research and analysis of materials (LRAM) at its branch “IHT- Zerde” located at Taukent settlement, Suzaksky district, Southern Kazakhstan.
The main purpose of LRAM is analytical support and improvement of technologies for extraction and processing of natural uranium, R & D in the field of geological exploration, extraction and processing of RM, REM and their associated extraction. LRAM passed the accreditation of the testing laboratory in accordance with the national and international standards at LLP “National Accreditation Center”.
3. At the site of“Uvanas” mine of the branch “Stepnoe-RU” “Kazatomprom – SaUran” LLP, an experimental-technological range has been created to provide semi-industrial testing of new materials, innovative technologies, devices and equipment with the aim of intensifying technological processes, improving the quality of marketable products, accompanying rare and rare-earth metals, and reducing the production cost at the enterprises of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom”.
4. Scientific and technological and innovative development of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” is provided by the Institute through regular activities, such as:
• intellectual property management, organization and development of rationalization and inventive activities at the enterprises of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom”;
• provision of scientific and technical information to the scientific and production activities of enterprises of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” within the framework of the development of the computer system “Knowledge Base”;
• development of normative documentation (standards, instructions, methodologies);
• provision of educational services.
In 2017, two educational publications were developed and published:
• “Repair and recovery work on geotechnological wells of enterprises of uranium in- situ leaching”
• “Geotechnology of Uranium”.
5. Educational services are successfully provided by the branch of the Institute – “Kazakhstan Nuclear University”. Along with the implementation of training programs for miners, including: on industrial safety, occupational safety and radiation safety, a computer-based training system “Uranium Sorption on SNK-3M Columns”, a pilot project has been developed to implement innovative educational techniques on the basis of virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR), including the following modules:
• Interactive electronic course on the study of the theoretical foundations of ion exchange processes and uranium sorption in SNK-3M columns.
• 3D simulators using VR and AR technologies for processes on the SNK-3M sorption column by:
- studying the arrangement of the column and uranium sorption technology;
- carrying out the process of resin overloading in manual mode;
- the process of uranium sorption.
6. The share of uranium mining by the mines built according to the Institute’s projects is 58%. The Engineering and Design Department of the Institute completed the projects of the mines of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” with a capacity of 1000 and 2000 tons/year such as: PV-19, Akdala, Zarechnoye, Southern Moinkum, Central Mynkuduk, Southern Inkai, Kharasan-1, Semizbay -U, Budenovskoye.
The production activity of the Department is currently focused on the modernization and reconstruction of existing mining enterprises of JSC “NAC “Kazatomprom” and is carried out in accordance with the licenses and other permits.