Majilis approved ratification of agreement on establishment of IAEA LEU Bank
According to the Agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) creates in Kazakhstan the Bank of low-enriched uranium (LEU Bank), owned by the IAEA.
“The International Bank of enriched uranium is created to provide the guaranteed supplies of nuclear fuel to the nuclear power plants of the IAEA Member States and is located in one of the Member States, which is the starting material for the production of fuel for the nuclear power plants. The decision on the establishment of the IAEA LEU Bank was adopted in 2006. Having put forward the initiative to establish such a bank, the IAEA formulated the requirements for the country – operator. Among the requirements there were following points: the country should not possess a nuclear status, technologies and experience in this part and the nuclear cycle of the corresponding infrastructure, confidence in the IAEA and an effective system of the export control. Kazakhstan has everything”, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbayev has said, presenting the bill to the deputies.
According to the Minister, low-enriched uranium will be stored as hexafluoride in the containers, in the cylinders of the European standard 30B. According to him, the uranium reserves, in fact, is the emergency reserve, which will be needed only in case of a crisis situation on the world uranium market. Ideally, this supply is never required in the normal course of the events.
“Now the work is proceeding on the preparation of our security management system for the placement of the IAEA nuclear material. More than 20 technical missions of the agency have been carried out. The results of these missions became the extensive detailed recommendations to improve the legislation, the regulatory framework, public infrastructure, control of the security in the use of nuclear energy. The goal of these recommendations is to satisfy the provisions of Agency’s safety standards, its nuclear safety and security documents, which ensures the highest level of safety of the project, both for the environment, for the same population”, K. Bozumbayev has told.
We add that in accordance with the Agreement, the IAEA will bear the cost of the acquisition, delivery, maintenance of low-enriched uranium; costs associated with the import and export of low-enriched uranium; expenses for payment of taxes, fees and duties from which the IAEA is not released; costs associated with the performance of obligations under the IAEA safeguards in relation to the IAEA LEU Bank, as well as other expenses directly referred to in this Agreement as covered by the IAEA.
Kazakhstan will pay the costs associated with direct storage of low-enriched uranium IAEA, including the payment of electricity, heating, necessary office space and staff costs, provided by Kazakhstan; costs associated with the movement of the IAEA LEU Bank within Kazakhstan at the request of Kazakhstan, including the importation and disposal of property.
“For Kazakhstan the project placement of the LEU Bank is an important contribution to strengthening the non-proliferation regime”, the Minister has concluded.
Source: Kazakhtan 2050