The European Commission has adopted a recommendation to the Council to conclude a cooperation agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy between the Euratom Community and the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
<p>The agreement aims at facilitating nuclear trade between the two parties, while complying with internationally recognized rules concerning non-proliferation, safeguards and the physical protection of nuclear material. It also encourages cooperation in nuclear safety, nuclear fusion and research, while it can also be expanded to other domains related to nuclear energy. <br /><br />The cooperation may take the form of exchanges of technical information and experts, joint seminars, and the development of joint projects and programs. The commercial value of the arrangement is estimated at E500 million for the initial 10-year duration of the agreement.<br /><br />Kazakhstan has one fifth of the world's known reserves of uranium and remains the third biggest producer of uranium in the world, after Australia and Canada. However, Kazakh uranium represents only 3% of uranium deliveries to EU utilities. Given the foreseen development of the EU nuclear industry and Kazakhstan's ambition to become the world's top uranium producer by 2010, it is in the mutual interest of both parties to expand their relations in this field, the European Commission says.<br /><br />The Council will now examine the Commission recommendation in view of finalizing the agreement.</p>