Kazakhstan has consistently sought to strengthen its relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the context of Kazakhstan’s nuclear energy, non-proliferation and disarmament policies. In this regard, Kazakhstan is proud of its record of collaboration with IAEA and is supportive of further extending the scope of its cooperation with the IAEA.
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. One concrete example of this intension is Kazakhstan’s partnership with the Russian Federation as a founding member of the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) located at the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Combine (AECC) in Siberia. Kazakhstan’s participation in the IUEC is aimed at facilitating the peaceful use of nuclear energy by making available its uranium for enrichment for use as nuclear fuel in power reactors. In this context, Kazakhstan supports the Russian proposal for an LEU reserve at the IUEC in Angarsk.
We have been following with great interest 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.
In this regard, we fully support the criteria mentioned in the statement of IAEA Director General of 2 March 2009 to the IAEA Board of Governors, namely that any mechanism 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 criteria established in advance and applied objectively and consistently, and no State should be required to give up its rights under the NPT reagrding any parts od the nuclear fuel cycle.
Kazakhstan has welcomed the proposal from former United States Senator Sam Nunn, on behalf of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, to facilitate the establishment of an IAEA nuclear fuel bank for the use of IAEA Member States unable to acquire nuclear fuel supply from the market due to the political reasons.
On 6 April 2009 President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev declared that in case a nuclear fuel bank is created, Kazakhstan, which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons, could consider hosting it on its territory.
Kazakhstan will continue actively cooperate with IAEA in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and strengthening the non-proliferation regime.