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IAEA and Kazakhstan agreement

August 28, 2015

IAEA, Kazakhstan agree on uranium bank




Aug. 28, 2015 - Updated 01:00 UTC+2

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement to set up what they call a Low Enriched Uranium Bank in the country.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov signed the deal on Thursday in the Central Asian country's capital, Astana.

The facility to be built in Oskemen, eastern Kazakhstan, is aimed at promoting nuclear non-proliferation. It will help to ensure the stable supply of low enriched uranium to countries. It will also work to curb enrichment of uranium that could lead to nuclear weapons production.

The Low Enriched Uranium Bank will store 90 tons of the element. That amount can power a large city for 3 years. It will open in 2 years under IAEA safeguard.

Idrissov said his country will contribute to the development of nuclear energy as well as global security at the same time.

Kazakhstan is the world's largest producer of uranium. More than 450 nuclear tests were conducted during 40 years in the Soviet era at the Semipalatinsk test site, in the northeast region of the country. That left about one-million people exposed to radioactivity. Kazakhstan is well known for its activity in promoting nuclear non-proliferation.


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