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IAEA, Kazakhstan to Discuss Fuel Bank Plan

The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected next month to host a meeting with top Kazakh officials to help decide the location of a planned multilateral repository of nuclear power plant fuel, Interfax reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 8).

Kazakhstan three years ago unveiled a proposal to establish such a complex within its borders, and  Kazkah President Nursultan Nazarbayev in April 2009 confirmed his nation's willingness to pursue the project. The former Soviet state is considering the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, the Semipalatinsk Test Site and possibly other installations for the task, according to government insiders.

"An international agreement between the IAEA and Kazakhstan is being worked up," Vladimir Shkolnik, who oversees the Kazakh state-run atomic firm Kazatomprom, said on Wednesday. "The [IAEA] General Conference will be held Sept. 17-25 in Vienna, and our delegation -- management of the atomic energy agency, the national company, and Foreign Ministry -- will have talks at the highest level and consultations with the IAEA leadership on this issue."

The fuel bank would only supply uranium for nonmilitary applications, Shkolnik noted.

"We do not supply, have not supplied, and will not supply uranium to those countries which we have decided not to," he stated. "We have created an international system of control over the export of uranium. When we supply uranium to a country, we get from them assurances that it will not be used for any other purposes. And the system monitors all that" (Interfax, Aug. 15).

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Country Profile

Flag of Kazakhstan


This article provides an overview of Kazakhstan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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