Kazakhstan's national atomic company Kazatomprom is negotiating ways to strengthen its partnership with Russia's nuclear fuel manufacturer Tvel and its parent-company, the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Baurzhan Ibraev, director of Kazatomprom's fuel branch said on 12 April. He added that Kazatomprom is planning to set up a nuclear fuel manufacturing enterprise in 2016 and Tvel's experience will be "valuable" in this.
According Tvel's vice-president for marketing and international cooperation, Oleg Grigoriev, cooperation between Russian and Kazakh nuclear specialists will develop rapidly, while a "very close" partnership already exists between Tvel and Kazatomprom. The two companies are considering projects to increase their share of the world market in the nuclear fuel cycle, Grigoriev said. In 2015, Kazakhstan, the world's leading producer of natural uranium, reported output of more than 23,800t of uranium (tU).
Earlier in April, the Kazakhstan-United States Energy Partnership Commission signed a joint statement at a follow-up meeting in Kazakhstan to the 11th session of the Special Commission on the Energy Partnership (SCEP). The session discussed conservation and increasing energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy said: "Notably, within the framework of the SCEP, concrete targets have been reached in cooperation in the field of conversion of Kazakhstan's research reactors and enforcement of physical nuclear security."
It added that, also during the past year, experts from the Kazakh energy ministry and the DOE had held bilateral talks on international carbon sequestration and the use of clean technologies.
This followed the signing of an agreement between Kazatomprom and US of uranium conversion company ConverDyn to jointly and immediately offer uranium in the form of natural UF6 to global utilities. In 2014, Kazakhstan replaced Australia as the leading supplier of uranium to US NPPs.