Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.S., Kazakhstan Finish HEU Disposal Operation
Kazakhstan, with assistance from the United States and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has finished converting some 72 pounds of highly enriched uranium into a more proliferation-resistant material, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced on Wednesday (see GSN, Jan. 11).
The seven-week secret operation transferred the material from the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Almaty to the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, where it was converted into low-enriched uranium, according to an NNSA release.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazakh government and the semiautonomous Energy Department branch cooperated in carrying out the project.
Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union held the world's fourth-largest nuclear arsenal, which it ultimately relinquished.
Astana and Washington have collaborated on efforts to safeguard nuclear and radiological materials for 20 years, the U.S. nuclear agency said.
"This latest milestone builds on a history of successful efforts between our two nations to secure nuclear material, to combat illicit trafficking in nuclear and radiological material, to strengthen the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, and to pursue a world without nuclear weapons," Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman said in provided comments.
As part of the NNSA Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the blended-down uranium is now to be shopped back to the Institute of Nuclear Physics, where it will be used in civilian research efforts (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, Oct. 12).
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A new brochure describes the origins and the work of the Nuclear Security Project.
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George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn laid out their vision of a world without nuclear weapons and the urgent, practical steps to get there in a groundbreaking series of co-authored Wall Street Journal op-eds.
This article provides an overview of Kazakhstan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.