Kazakhstan to Supply Japan Nuclear Fuel in 2013

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 4, 2012 1:11 PM EST

KazAtomProm, Kazakhstan's national nuclear company is determined to begin exporting nuclear fuel components to Japan by as early as 2013. KazAtomProm said on Thursday after a number of signed agreements between Kazakhstan and Japan earlier in the week.

Sergei Yashin, Vice Head of KazAtomProm, said the agreements signed between the two countries involved "not only extraction, but also manufacturing of high-tech fuel pellets at Kazakhstan-based facilities", en.tengrinews.kz quoted Yashin as saying.

The KazAtomProm executive further said the company has obtained production qualification and certification to commence extending services for the production of nuclear fuel components by early next year.

KazAtomProm is Kazakhstan's major exporter of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power stations, special equipment, technologies and dual-usage materials.

"Our only plant will be manufacturing high-tech products such as uranium powders and tablets," Yashin said.

From January to March of this year, KazAtomProm produced 2,600 tonnes of uranium, a 4 per cent increase compared from a year ago. Its' consolidated revenues for the period totaled $346.9 million.

Overall uranium production in Kazakhstan, meanwhile, for the first quarter of the year, jumped 5 per cent to a total of 4,666 tonnes.

Ulba Metallurgical Works, a company part of KazAtomProm, reported increased production of uranium in 2011, 9 per cent up against 2010, to a total of 19,450 tonnes. Plans are presently being laid to increase the figure to 25,000 tonnes annually by 2015.

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