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Position of the Republic of Kazakhstan on nuclear fuel banks

Kazakhstan has consistently sought to strengthen its relationship with the IAEA in the context of Kazakhstan's nuclear energy, non-proliferation and disarmament policies and is supportive of further extending the scope of its cooperation.

Kazakhstan is a major producer of uranium ore and also has fuel fabrication capability, and intends to further expand its involvement in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the IAEA. An example of this intension is Kazakhstan's partnership with Russia in founding the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) located at the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Combine in Siberia. Kazakhstan's participation in the IUEC is aimed at facilitating the peaceful use of nuclear energy by making available its uranium for use in power reactors. In this context, Kazakhstan supports the Russian proposal for an LEU (low enriched uranium) reserve at the IUEC in Angarsk.

Kazakhstan has been following the initiative of IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, to develop a new framework for the utilization of nuclear energy based on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle. Kazakhstan supports the development of nuclear energy options that ensure full access to the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology, while also reducing the potential risks of the further spread of sensitive nuclear fuel cycle technologies.

We fully support the criteria outlined in the statement of Dr. ElBaradei of 2 March 2009 to the IAEA Board of Governors; namely, that any future mechanisms should be non-political, non-discriminatory and available to all States in compliance with their safeguards obligations. Any release of material should be determined by non-political principles established in advance and applied objectively and consistently, and no State should be required to give up its rights under the NPT regarding any part of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Kazakhstan has welcomed the proposal from former US Senator Sam Nunn (on behalf of the Nuclear Threat Initiative) to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear fuel bank for the use of IAEA Member States unable to acquire nuclear fuel supplies from the market due to political reasons.

On April 6 2009, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared that in case a nuclear fuel bank is created, Kazakhstan, which has signed the NPT and voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons, could consider hosting such a bank on Kazakh territory.

Kazakhstan will continue actively cooperate with IAEA in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and strengthening the non-proliferation regime.

Tags: nuclear fuel