Russia to Supply Uranium to IAEA Bank in Kazakhstan

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Russia have signed an agreement on the transport of low-enriched uranium and equipment necessary for the functioning of IAEA’s Low Enriched Uranium Bank (LEU) in Kazakhstan, Forbes Kazakhstan reports.

The contract was signed yesterday during the 62nd IAEA General Conference being held in Vienna this week by Mark Bassett, IAEA LEU Bank executive, and Oleg Kozin, deputy director general of Tenex, which is a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom.

Announcing the contract signing, the IAEA noted that the Bank will host a reserve of LEU and act as a supplier of last resort for IAEA Member States in case the supply of LEU to a nuclear power plant is disrupted due to exceptional circumstances and the Member State is unable to secure LEU from the commercial market or by any other means. LEU is the basic ingredient used to fabricate fuel for most nuclear power reactors.

The storage facility for the LEU Bank was inaugurated in August last year in a ceremony attended by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, and Yukiya Amano, the director general of the IAEA.

It is an 880-square meter high-security warehouse at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. It is owned and managed by UMP.