US to Discuss Program to Reduce Highly Enriched Uranium in Kazakhstan

US to Discuss Program to Reduce Highly Enriched Uranium in Kazakhstan © Flickr/ IAEA Imagebank

17:14 28.08.2015(updated 17:45 28.08.2015) Get short URL
http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150828/1026308392.html

US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman will discuss a program aimed at reducing the use of highly enriched uranium at research reactors in Kazakhstan, during his visit to Astana on Friday.

ASTANA (Sputnik) — Countryman arrived in Astana to participate in the signing ceremony of the agreement between Kazakhstan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the establishment of a bank of low-enriched uranium (LEU), which was held on Thursday.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation said he will hold a meeting on Friday with representatives of the Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry to discuss the program being worked on by the two countries.

Friday’s talks will include the “programs that will reduce the use of highly enriched uranium in Kazakhstan’s research reactors, substituting that for low-enriched uranium,” Countryman said at a meeting with journalists in Astana.

The LEU bank will be located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Ust-Kamenogorsk in northeast Kazakhstan.

In June, the deputy chairman of the Committee on Atomic and Energy Supervision of the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, Timur Zhantikin, said that the bank should be able to accept the material as early as 2017.

Talks about the LEU bank in Kazakhstan have been ongoing since 2010, when Astana put itself forward as a possible host. The agreement with the IAEA was reached in April.

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