The main players in this field are Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and China. The establishment of enrichment facilities is under the control of the IAEA and the global community.
“The Ministry of Energy, together with Kazatomprom and other interested organizations, is working on the development of the nuclear fuel cycle in the atomic industry,” explained the ministry.
In turn, Kazatomprom reported that through the Russian-Kazakh Uranium Enrichment Center, they have access to enrichment services of up to 2.5 million SWU* per year until 2043 based on long-term contracts.
“This option is used to ensure the production of Ulba-TVS fuel with a designed capacity of 200 tons of uranium per year in the form of fuel assemblies. The plant was launched in 2021 and, according to Kazatomprom, fully satisfies the enriched element requirements for the implementation of this fuel project for the entire duration.”
The national company also holds a 10% stake in the International Uranium Enrichment Center, a joint venture with Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. The center was established to strengthen the non-proliferation regime of nuclear weapons. Shareholders of the center have access to enrichment services based on their guaranteed SWU quota proportionate to their share in the center for the production of fuel for their own nuclear energy needs. The national company noted that this covers the demand for low-enriched uranium.
It is worth mentioning that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev previously instructed to focus on several areas, including uranium enrichment.
*SWU: Separative Work Unit