Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


U.S. reactor operators increase uranium purchases from Kazakhstan 0

Posted on October 17, 2015 by KazCham


Kazakhstan became the leading supplier of uranium for the 100 operating U.S. nuclear power reactors in 2014, supplying 12 million pounds, or 23%, of the 53.3 million pounds of uranium purchased by owners and operators of U.S. reactors. This level is almost double the 6.5 million pounds of Kazakh-origin uranium purchased in 2013. In previous years, Australia, Canada, and Russia have been leading suppliers of uranium to the United States. The amount of U.S.-origin uranium purchased in 2014 decreased 65% compared with 2013.

Average Kazakh uranium prices have been lower than other major supplying countries’ prices for the past two years. Uranium from Kazakhstan was $44.47 per pound in 2014, compared with the overall weighted-average price of $46.65 per pound for the 41.3 million pounds of uranium purchased from producers outside Kazakhstan in 2014.

Kazakhstan became the world’s leading producer of uranium in 2009 when it surpassed Canada. Uranium production in Kazakhstan has more than tripled since 2007, while production in Canada has been relatively constant, and production in Australia decreased 42%.

Uranium production and exports are controlled by Kazatomprom, a national atomic company created in 1997 by the Kazakhstan government in an effort to revive the country’s nuclear industry. Kazatomprom has attempted to increase domestic uranium production capacity by working with international companies to encourage investment in uranium mining projects in Kazakhstan. The company also worked to expand Kazakhstan’s uranium export markets, as the country’s sole nuclear power reactor, which began operation in 1972, was shut down in 1999. Kazakhstan’s ability to export uranium increased after the U.S. International Trade Administration terminated the 1992 antidumping investigation on uranium from Kazakhstan and lifted restrictions on the sale of uranium from Kazakhstan to the United States in 1999.

The Low Enriched Uranium Bank and Kazakhstan 0

Posted on August 15, 2015 by KazCham

by Representative Ed Whitfield


The Honorable Ed Whitfield of Kentucky spoke in the House of Representatives Tuesday, August 4, 2015, to highlight Astana’s leadership in proliferation, especially establishing Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan. Below is the text of his speech.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Kazakhstan and its commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. As the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, I recognize the complexities of nuclear power and would like to commend Kazakhstan for its leadership helping to prevent the spread of nuclear materials and to advance the responsible, peaceful use of existing civilian nuclear energy.

When it declared independence in 1991, Kazakhstan possessed the fourth largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. By 1993, Kazakhstan had dismantled and secured its entire arsenal and chose to become an international partner in nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

On July 21, 2015, I had the opportunity to meet with His Excellency Kairat Umarov, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan. During the meeting we discussed Kazakhstan’s ongoing commitment to these issues. On August 27th, Kazakhstan will partner with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish the world’s first international fuel bank. This unprecedented facility, planned for nearly a decade, will help prevent the spread of nuclear materials and support the appropriate commercial use of nuclear energy. The fuel bank, controlled by the IAEA and operated in northern Kazakhstan, will maintain a reliable supply of low enriched uranium available to countries if they lose access to fuel supplies for their nuclear power plants.

The LEU Bank will provide a secure, guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel, paving the way for nations to pursue peaceful nuclear power under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) without the need for their own enrichment programs. Given the current global security environment and the recent focus on Iran’s nuclear program, the establishment of the LEU Bank could also alleviate concerns that a country’s peaceful energy program could be altered to produce weapons grade enriched uranium. As the world continues to explore the potential of nuclear power, we need a solution that removes the threat of enrichment from the peaceful development of nuclear energy.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating Kazakhstan on this important announcement that will empower nations to unlock the power of nuclear energy, while eliminating the need for domestic enrichment programs that put our safety at risk.

India Inks Uranium Deal with Kazakhstan 0

Posted on July 24, 2015 by KazCham

The Diplomat

On July 6 Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi visited Kazakhstan. During the visit he reached an agreement with Kazakhstan authorities that the country will supply India with 5,000 metric tons of nuclear fuel in the 2015 – 2019 period.

Between 2010 and 2014, Kazakhstan supplied India with 2,100 metric tons of uranium. While expressing pleasure at the “much larger second contract,” Mr. Modi noted that Kazakhstan was “one of the first countries with which we [India]  launched civil nuclear cooperation.”

The increase in uranium supply is a boon to Modi’s energy plans. India, which has increasingly faced an energy-deficit, dealing with blackouts and leaning heavily on coal has begun to focus on building up its nuclear power capabilities in recent years.

Kazakhstan produces 38 percent of the world’s uranium–22,451 metric tons in 2013–more than the next three top producers combined (Canada, Australia, and Niger). The country is also set to host the International Atomic Energy Agency’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank, a facility which will stockpile LEU, used in civilian nuclear power reactors, in order to assure supply to members should they experience a disruption.


Uranium Fuel Bank in Kazakhstan to start receiving nuclear materials 0

Posted on June 06, 2015 by KazCham

Business Intelligence from Colibri Law Firm: Issue #103

In two-year term Kazakhstan plans to start receiving nuclear material for storage in a low-enriched Uranium Fuel Bank of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Timur Zhantikin, Deputy Chairman of the Atomic Control Committee at Kazakhstan Ministry of Energy.

Zhantikin added that first shipments of nuclear materials are expected to arrive into Kazakhstan in 2017. He further commented on the two years gap in the project realization, noting that although the agreement had been already signed, it would still require the Kazakhstan Parliament to ratify it, so that to become effective.

US and Kazakhstan Agree on Removal of Highly Enriched Uranium 0

Posted on April 17, 2015 by KazCham

Mining Weekly

Semiautonomous US government agency the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) plans to work with Kazakhstan, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to return about 50 kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to Russia, thereby removing all HEU research reactor fuel from Kazakhstan.

The DOE/NNSA on Jan 7, 2015, announced that 36 kg of HEU spent fuel had been removed from the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP), in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The HEU was transported by means of two air shipments to a secure facility in Russia for permanent disposal.

This complex operation was the culmination of a multiyear effort between the US, Kazakhstan, Russia and the IAEA, with the countries sharing a long history of cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation issues.

DOE/NNSA deputy administrator Anne Harrington states that the removal of this HEU is yet another example of how the international community continues to work together to prevent the threat of nuclear terrorism.

“This cooperation reduces the [possibility] that such material can fall into the hands of terrorists.”

Meanwhile, in September, about 10 kg of HEU fresh fuel was returned to Russia from the INP. The HEU was shipped to a facility in Russia where it will be downblended to low-enriched uranium (LEU).

The DOE/NNSA and the INP have also cooperated to return more than 70 kg of HEU spent fuel to Russia and to downblend more than 30 kg of HEU fresh fuel at the Ulba metallurgical facility, in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.

Further, the DOE/NNSA and the INP are also working together to convert the INP’s research reactor from using HEU fuel to running on LEU fuel.

Additional cooperation between the US and Kazakhstan includes improving security for nuclear and radiological materials, constructing a nuclear security training centre at the INP that will serve Kazakhstan’s entire nuclear industry, developing nuclear security curricula, providing radiation detection equipment at Kazakhstan ports of entry as well as associated training and support for the sustainment of equipment, and cooperating on the implementation of safeguarding and training for Kazakhstani officials on export controls.


Ambassador Umarov takes a Tour of Silicon Valley companies under State Department’s Experience America Program

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