Kazakhstan to establish low-enriched uranium bank
The government of Kazakhstan has approved an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish a bank of low-enriched uranium in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports.
The Decree as of 27 April 25, approves the draft Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the establishment of the organization’s bank of low-enriched uranium Kazakhstan.
Energy Minister of Kazakhstan Vladimir Schkolnik is authorized to sign the Agreement on behalf of the Government of Kazakhstan.
The decree came into effect on the date of its signing.
Kazakhstan offered its candidacy for the role of international depositary bank of low-enriched uranium in 2010. According to the rules, the bank must contain a small stock of raw materials, it should be placed in a country that does not have nuclear weapons. In accordance with the regulations, any state may request fuel from the custodian depositary for their nuclear power plants.
Kazakhstan ranks first in the world by uranium production and second by reserves. The country gave up its nuclear weapons shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. At the time, Kazakhstan possessed the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
It is expected that Ulba Metallurgical Plant will be chosen as the site for the bank. Located in the east of the country, the plant is the national operator for the export of nuclear materials and rare non-ferrous metals. Ulba metallurgical plant is part of Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's national nuclear company, and produces fuel pellets for nuclear power plants.
By Dinara Urazova