US and Japanese scientists are to investigate Kazakhstan's BN-350 reactor under an agreement signed on 17 September. The director of the Kazakh Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kayrat Kadyrzhanov, said the BN-350 is important to scientists. "We have reached an agreement with the specialists involved in extracting nuclear fuel from the BN-350, and I think that soon we will receive all the materials and documents necessary to carry out the research work," he said. Japan and the USA plan to finance the study on a 50:50 basis.
BN-350 came to the end of its design life in July 1993, but operation was extended on an annual basis until 1999.