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IAEA head notes successful negotiations on creation of nuclear fuel bank in Kazakhstan

04 march 2013, 15:25
0
©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan’s delegation to Vienna met with Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry.

“Amano noted the successful course of negotiations on implementation of the unique international project on creation of the Bank of Low-Enriched Uranium to be located in Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan,” the message states.

The meeting was held during a regular round of negotiations between Kazakhstan and the IAEA on approval of the text of the Country Agreement on Placement of the Nuclear Fuel Bank.

During the negotiations Kazakhstan delegation made a presentation of a possible location for the bank and outlined prospects of its practical implementation for the project’s donors: the U.S., Norway, the EU, the UAE, Kuwait, the Nuclear Threat Initiative Fund.

Not everyone in Kazakhstan is supporting the idea of placing the bank at Ulba Metallurgical Plant, however. The plant is located near Ust-Kamenogorsk in East Kazakhstan oblast, but the area is seismically unstable.

There have been reports citing Gennadiy Koreshkov, director of the regional Center for Environment Safety as saying that the Kazakhstan’s Government had given up the idea of hosting the suggested international nuclear fuel bank at the Ulba metallurgical plant due to seismicity of East Kazakhstan oblast.

According to him, another reason to renounce the idea was the decision of the Ulba plant’s executives not to expand the plant’s storage capacities.

In 2009 Astana came forward with the initiative to place the international nuclear fuel bank at the territory of Kazakhstan under the aegis of the IAEA.

Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan is engaged in production of hi-tech uranium, beryllium and tantalum products for the needs of the nuclear power industry.

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