AGREEMENT ON ESTABLISHING LEU
BANK IN KAZAKHSTAN
Astana, August 14: On 27 August, 2015, the government of Kazakhstan will sign an
agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on establishing an
international low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank in the country in 2017. The
ceremony will take place in Astana and will be attended by delegates from
countries that have supported the project, including the five permanent members
of UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK, US), EU, Norway, Kuwait, the
Director General Yukiya Amano will sign the agreement on behalf of the
organisation, while Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov
will sign on behalf of the host country.
bank will provide countries with reliable access to fuel for their nuclear
energy plants. It will be located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen), a city in north-eastern
Idrissov, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, said: “The signing of this agreement
is a significant step that will facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation, an
objective which Kazakhstan has worked tirelessly towards. The LEU fuel bank is
an important vehicle that will help create a safer world. I am grateful to the IAEA
and to our funding partners for this opportunity.”
the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was left with the world’s fourth
largest nuclear arsenal, which it renounced and dismantled over the first
decades of its independence. The country has since consistently campaigned for
an end to nuclear testing and supports a number of non-proliferation and
efforts to promote nuclear security and non-proliferation
Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced the world’s fourth biggest nuclear arsenal,
which it inherited from the Soviet Union. Since
then Kazakhstan has been a vocal supporter of nuclear arms control.
August the government of Kazakhstan will sign an agreement with the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish an international
low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank in the country in 2017.
believes its decision to relinquish nuclear weapons can serve as a useful
example for other states. It has used its close diplomatic relations with the
Government of Iran to urge its near neighbour to follow its lead and swear off
nuclear arms. In 2013 Kazakhstan hosted two rounds of
nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran.
to the annex to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran may choose to sell
its excess enriched uranium to the IAEA LEU bank in Kazakhstan when it becomes
Kazakhstan is a party
to START-I, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and
the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The country signed an
Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in
February 2004 and is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
In December 2009, the
UN General Assembly unanimously accepted a resolution put forward by Kazakhstan
proclaiming August 29, the day when in 1991 President Nursultan Nazarbayev
signed a decree on the closure of Semipalatinsk Test Site, as the
‘International Day against Nuclear Tests’.
Kazakhstan has played a constructive role in regional and international
The rebuilding of
Afghanistan is a major priority for Kazakhstan. The country has provided humanitarian
aid, more than 1,000 student scholarships, and training programmes for the
Kazakhstan is bidding
to join the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 as a non-permanent member.
increasingly playing a more active role as an international donor. The
government has decided to formalise this by establishing an international
development organisation called KazAid.