Kazakhstan, US sign statement on minimising use of highly enriched uranium


VIENNA -- The United States and Kazakhstan have inked a joint statement on minimising the use of highly enriched uranium, Kazinform reported Wednesday (September 18).

Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev and US Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty signed the statement in Vienna at the 63rd session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna.

The conference is set to run Monday to Friday (September 16 to 20).

Kazakhstan is working on the conversion of research reactors, according to the Kazakh delegation.

"The goal of this work is to ensure non-proliferation of nuclear materials via conversion of research reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel. The projects are implemented together with US agencies, which praise the high scientific-technical potential and competence of Kazakh agencies in carrying out this complex task," said a Kazakh Energy Ministry statement.

Kazakhstan has striven to be a leader in peaceful use of nuclear energy. As part of a 1994 agreement, it transferred the Soviet-era nuclear weapons based on its territory to Russia.

It also operates the world's first low enriched uranium (LEU) bank. The facility in Oskemen is meant to keep aspiring nuclear powers from enriching uranium.

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