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Russian-Kazakh uranium enrichment facility to be operable in 2012

28 october 2011, 14:32
0
RIA Novosti©
RIA Novosti©
The Russian-Kazakh center for uranium enrichment will be launched in Russia’s Novouralsk in 2012, RosAtom head Sergei Kirienko told October 28, Novosti Kazakhstan reports.

“We have reached full understanding with Kazakhstan’s partners. It’s a state-run program, we are in full line with the schedule. I believe the JV will be fully operational in 2012”, Mr. Kirienko told journalists.

According to him, Kazakhstan’s partners will be taking part in operations at the Uralsk Electrochemical Works, getting access to uranium enrichment capabilities. In exchange, Russia will have access “to Kazakhstan’s uranium mines that are among the most cost-efficient in the world”.

“Kazakhstan has provided us with an access to uranium assets. It is of paramount importance for such a facility as Uralsk Electrochemical Works. We’ve been to a situation when Russia enjoyed 45% of global uranium processing capabilities with only 6% of global uranium production. (…) As of now the issue of uranium supplies is fully solved”, Mr. Kirienko emphasized.

KazAtomProm’s share in the JV is to be defined depending on processing capabilities required to process 6 000 tons of uranium a year.

Russia’s Uralsk Electrochemical Works [part of RosAtom] is the largest uranium processing company in the world.

Earlier tengrinews.kz reported that Kazakhstan may boost uranium production to 30 000 tons a year, Sergey Yashin, KazAtomProm Nuclear Company Vice Chairman of the Board, said speaking at the VI KAZENERGY international forum in Astana October 5.

“As of today annual production output stands at about 20 000 tons, that is 33% of the global production. We can reach 25-30 000 tons a year if needed”, he said, adding that “further increase in uranium production output is only possible in case of the market demonstrating further demand”.

“Kazakhstan has extracted only 4.2% of its overall reserves so far”, he elaborated.

In 2009 the uranium production output grew from 8521 in 2008 to 14 020, enabling Kazakhstan to become the global leader in terms of production. Estimated uranium production output in 2011 stands at 19 800 tons. For the first 8 months Kazakhstan produced a total of 12 284 tons of uranium, Profinance.kz quoted the Press Service of KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company September 28.

KazAtomProm is Kazakhstan's major exporter of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power stations, special equipment, technologies and dual-usage materials.

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