Canada and Kazakhstan prospects

15 August 2014

An agreement to cooperate in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy signed by Canada and Kazakhstan in November has come into force.

Kazakhstan's ministry of foreign affairs said yesterday that the country's deputy foreign minister, Erzhan Ashikbaev, and Canada's ambassador-designate to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Shawn Steil, exchanged notes on completion of the national procedures required for the agreement to take effect.

Canada Kazakhstan agreement August 2014 460
Steil and Ashikbaev exchange notes (Image: Kazakh foreign ministry)

The agreement "opens new prospects" for further cooperation between the two countries, the ministry said. It will enable the exchange of technologies and implementation of joint projects in the use of nuclear energy in agriculture, industry, medicine and power generation, it said.

Canada's foreign minister John Baird and Kazakhstan's prime minister and minister of industry and new technologies, Asset Issekeshev, signed the agreement last year. After they did so, KazAtomProm president Vladimir Shkolnik said the two countries planned to invest about $200 million in a project to develop a 12,000 tonne UF6 conversion facility at the Ulba Metallurgical plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

That followed the creation by Cameco and KazAtomProm in 2008 of a new legal entity, Ulba Conversion LLP, to further advance the development of the facility. Ownership of Ulba Conversion is KazAtomProm 51% and Cameco 49%. The two companies entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2007 to cooperate on the development of uranium conversion capacity and to pursue additional uranium production.

Shkolnik was last week appointed head of Kazakhstan's new energy ministry, which puts four previously separate government departments - for oil and gas, solid energy resources, the electricity grid, and the nuclear industry - under one person's control.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News