A bank for Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) under the control of the IAEA will be set up in East Kazakhstan. The agreement was sigend in Astana on August 27, so just a few das ago, between the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Amano, the Kazakh Foreign Minister Idrissov and the MInister for Energy Skolnik. The LEU bank has a significant inportance for the ban of nuclear weapons.
Kazakhstan has long lasting experience handling nculear material. For six decades the Sovjet Union had carried out nuclear tests in the Kazakh step. At the end of the Sovjet Union, when Kazakhstan was about to declare itslef independent, Kazakh President Nasarbayev closed the test site and declared Kazakhstan to be a nuclear weapons free zone. Shortly after, a declaration of all five Central Aisa states was released.
The LEU bank now installed will hold low enriched uranium for those who need it for civil purposes. A small group of journalists had the chance to visit and look at the site where the Uranium bank will be installed.
Further Informaton: https://eeas.europa.eu/regions/central-asia/1367/kazakhstan-and-eu_en:
Participation of Kazakhstan in EU-sponsored energy-related programs and initiatives
EU has provided high-level political and significant financial support to the creation in Kazakhstan of the Low-Enriched Uranium Bank (LEUB) (link is external), owned and controlled by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but operated by the Government of Kazakhstan, under its own legislation, in accordance with IAEA safety standards and security guidance. The bank is intended to assure countries with peaceful nuclear programs of a ready supply of LEU in case they cannot access it on the commercial market or otherwise.