The Ceremony of the signing the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the establishment of the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank in the territory of Kazakhstan was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on August 27, 2015.
The ceremony brought together representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the USA, and, as well as the project’s donor countries – the EU with 25 million Euro, Norway with 5 million dollars, Kuwait with 10 million dollars, the UAE with 10 million dollars. Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov did sign the Agreement on behalf of Kazakhstan, and Director General Yukiya Amano – on behalf of the IAEA.
The LEU Bank will provide the countries with reliable access to fuel for their nuclear power plants. The Bank will be located it the territory of the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Ust Kamenogorsk.
After the signing ceremony the press-conference took place with a participation of the Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, Kazakh Minister of Energy Vladimir Shkolnik, Director General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano and Chief Executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Sam Nunn.
Representatives of mass media from all over the world came to cover the ceremony of the signing and the press-conference in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on August 27, 2015.
The first internationally controlled depot (Bank) will be set up in Kazakhstan for low-enriched uranium to secure the supply of nuclear power plants with nuclear fuel. A corresponding agreement was signed on Thursday the 27th of August 2015 between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the leadership of Director Yukiya Amano and the Kazakh government.
The ”Uranium Bank” will store a supply of fissile material for the manufacture of fuel rods in order to ensure for the IAEA members a secure and predictable supply, if it should come to supply shortages.
At the same time the stock is intended to prevent states from building their own uranium enrichment, because this could be used for the construction of nuclear weapons. This issue has strained relations between Iran and the international community for many years.
Supported by the ”Initiative against the nuclear threat” the IAEA fuel bank will promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and at the same time decrease the risks of proliferation and catastrophic terrorism. Told by the ex. US Senator Sam Nunn in the Kazakh capital Astana. Nunn is a chairman of the ”Initiative against the nuclear threat” (NTI) the main donor with 50 million dollars. NTI and Sam Nunn greatly makes up for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. He has played an essential role in the creation of the nuclear fuel bank.
US billionaire Warren Buffet pushed the project $ 50 million. The facility will be built in the metallurgical operation Ulba in Ust-Kamenogorsk and will go into operation 2017. Owned and operated by the IAEA. The plant in Kazakhstan have over 60 years of experience in the safe handling of nuclear materials, said the IAEA. The custodian for the slightly enriched uranium will be established near the former Soviet test site Semipalatinsk. There, the Soviet Union had tested nuclear weapons. Until the closure of the site in 1989, 458 nuclear tests were carried out threre, 30 on the ground, 88 underground in the atmosphere and 340 in Kazakhstan, formerly a Soviet republic, announced the end of the Soviet Union from its nuclear arsenal. The country is the largest producer of uranium in the world, and has 15 percent of global reserves.