Kazakhstan and China agree to cooperation in nuclear power

15 December 2014

Kazatomprom and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) yesterday signed an agreement on "extensive and more intensive mutual cooperation" in nuclear power.

The agreement was signed during a meeting of the Kazakh-Chinese Business Council by Kazatomprom CEO Nurlan Kapparov and CGNPC general manager Zhang Shanming.

"The agreement makes provisions for the development of strategic cooperation in the fields of uranium resources development, nuclear fuel production, peaceful uses of nuclear power, and transiting of uranium products through China and Kazakhstan," Kazatomprom said.

The accord also foresees establishment of a joint venture for the production of fuel assemblies in Kazakhstan for the needs of Chinese nuclear power plants. Fuel assembly manufacturing output is expected to reach 200 tonnes "expressed as enriched uranium", with further expansion of production for third countries.

In December 2006, CGNPC signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Kazatomprom, followed in May 2007 by an agreement on uranium supply and fuel fabrication, and in September 2007 agreements were signed on Chinese participation in Kazakh uranium mining joint ventures and on Kazatomprom investment in China's nuclear power industry. Kazatomprom thus become the main uranium and nuclear fuel supplier to CGNPC - accounting for a large share of the new reactors being built in China.

In October 2008, a further agreement was signed covering cooperation in uranium mining, fabrication of nuclear fuel for power reactors, long-term trade of natural uranium, generation of nuclear electricity and construction of nuclear power facilities. A CGNPC subsidiary, Sino-Kazakhstan Uranium Resources Investment Co, has invested in two Kazakh uranium mines, Irkol and Semizbai, through the Semizbai-U LLP joint venture.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News