Commission takes new step towards EU-Kazakhstan agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy

October 25, 2006

Brussels, 24 October 2006

The Commission has adopted today a recommendation to the Council to conclude a cooperation agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy between the Euratom Community and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The agreement will complete the existing cooperation in nuclear safety and nuclear fusion by providing a stable framework for the development of nuclear trade between the two parties.

"The Commission's Green Paper on Energy already pointed out the need for an agreement with Kazakhstan on the peaceful use of nuclear energy which will also help us improve our security of supply for Uranium" said EU’s Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The agreement aims at facilitating nuclear trade between the two parties, while complying with internationally recognised rules concerning non-proliferation, safeguards and the physical protection of nuclear material.

It also encourages cooperation in nuclear safety, nuclear fusion and research, while it can also be expanded to other domains related to nuclear energy.

The cooperation may take the form of exchanges of technical information and experts, joint seminars, and the development of joint projects and programmes.

The commercial value of the agreement is estimated at half a billion euros for the initial ten year duration of the agreement.

Kazakhstan has one fifth of the world’s known reserves of uranium and remains the third biggest producer of uranium in the world, after Australia and Canada. However, Kazakh uranium represents only 3% of uranium deliveries to EU utilities. Given the foreseen development of the EU nuclear industry and Kazakhstan’s ambition to become the world’s top uranium producer by 2010, it is in the mutual interest of both parties to expand their relations in this field.

The Council will now examine the Commission recommendation in view of finalising the agreement.

Item source: IP/06/1463 Date: 24/10/2006

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