Kazakhstan and Canada agree on peaceful use of nuclear power

Aug 17. Tengrinews

By Gyuzel Kamalova

Kazakhstan and Canada agree on peaceful use of nuclear powerKazakhstan and Canada have exchanged documents on peaceful use of nuclear power, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Ashikbayev and the Ambassador of Canada in Kazakhstan Shawn Steil exchanged notes on completion of intergovernmental procedures by each country. The notes concerned the agreement on cooperation in nuclear power use between Kazakhstan and Canada that was signed in Astana in November, 2013.

“The agreement that has come into force will open new prospects for further cooperation between Kazakhstan and Canada in peaceful use of nuclear energy. It would also allow to exchange technologies and realize joint projects directed at use of nuclear power in agriculture, industry, medicine and energy, ” the Kazakhstani Ministery reported.

Kazakhstan and Canada will also invest over $200 million into building a uranium conversion plant. This project would allow supplying fuel to over 40 nuclear stations.

The negotiations concerning Kazakhstan-Canada cooperation in peaceful nuclear power use took place in 2013 during the meeting between Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and the former Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Isekeshev who is now the Minister of Investments and Development of Kazakhstan.

12% of the world’s uranium reserves are located at the territory of Kazakhstan. In 2013 the Central Asian country produced 22,550 tons of uranium. In 2009 it became the world’s leading uranium producer, with almost 28% of world production, then 33% in 2010, 36% in 2011, 36.5% in 2012, and 38% in 2013.

Kazakhstan has a large plant making nuclear fuel pellets and aims eventually to sell value-added fuel rather than just uranium. It aims to supply 30% of the world fuel fabrication market by 2015. The government is committed to increased uranium exports, and is considering options for nuclear power.