Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) and Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of research for the development of the nuclear industry. The memorandum provides for the creation of a working group of scientists from both sides to consider initiatives and implement specific projects.

UMP is a subsidiary of national atomic company Kazatomprom and INP reports to the Ministry of Energy. UMP is a leading manufacturer of uranium, beryllium, tantalum and niobium products. The company has three production facilities at one industrial site for testing, research and design & development as well as a number of auxiliary industries. UMP subsidiary Ulba-TVS produces and exports fuel assemblies while LLP Mashazavod produces non-standard equipment for the nuclear and mining industries.

INP is Kazakhstan’s only centre offering fundamental and applied research and training for the nuclear industry. It brings together more than 600 specialists, and its scientific and technical base includes the VVR-K research reactor as well as a developed structure of training centres, departments, laboratories and technical services.

UMP Board Chairman Sergey Bezhetsky emphasised the importance of the fuel production facility. “I am sure that our fruitful cooperation and combined scientific potential will lead to concrete results and will make a great contribution to the domestic economy,” he said.

INP Director General Sayabek Sahiev noted the importance of the institute’s R&D and nuclear facilities. “The institute has plans to expand its experimental base. In particular, the creation of new accelerators for the production of medical radioisotopes and scientific applications, as well as the construction of a new research reactor to preserve and increase nuclear competencies,” he said.

Kazatomprom said the combination of UMP’s technological capabilities and the scientific and experimental capabilities of INP “will open new horizons for promoting scientific activities in the field of nuclear energy in Kazakhstan”. Discussions included cooperation in the manufacture of key components for a new research reactor.

Image courtesy of Kazatomprom