Kazakhstan looks for new uranium sales market
Kazakhstan is mainly interested in the markets of the western countries.
Astana: Kazakhstan is looking for new uranium sales markets and negotiating with countries, including India, which have developed atomic energy industries, a top government official has said.
"We would like to diversify both export of goods and spheres of export. Currently, we mainly export raw uranium and law-enriched uranium products," chairman of the Kazakhstani Atomic Energy Committee Timur Zhantikin said.
"Earlier, the Ust-Kamenogorsk plant supplied the nuclear fuel to Russia. However, the number of orders has decreased recently. And the plant practically suspended its work," Zhantikin said, adding, "That is why we are searching for new sales markets."
Kazakhstan is mainly interested in the markets of the western countries, which have more developed atomic energy sector, said Zhantikin.
He added that his country also plans to sign agreements on peaceful use of the atomic energy with India, Canada and China.
At the same time, the committee chairman is not satisfied with fact that Kazakhstan mainly exports raw uranium. "The Kazakhstani uranium industry can supply more highly-processed products," Zhantikin said.
Kazakhstan became the world`s leader in terms of uranium production in 2009, when the country produced 13,500 tonnes of uranium raw materials, the press service of the Kazatomprom National Corporation said.
About one-fifth of the global uranium reserves (21 percent) accounts for this Central Asian republic. It ranks the second in the world in terms of reserves of this strategically important resource. Kazakhstan`s uranium reserves are estimated at about 1.5 million tonnes.