Astana lauds nuclear energy efforts

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, April 9 (UPI) -- The decision by Kazakhstan to dismantle its nuclear weapons program serves as a model for the road to peaceful nuclear energy, leaders in Astana said.

Kazakhstan in 1991 dismantled the nuclear weapons program it inherited following independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


The country supplies around 20 percent of the world's natural uranium supply. Astana said it dedicated a substantial portion of that resource to develop peaceful nuclear energy technology.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said he welcomed a decision by U.S. President Barack Obama to host more than 40 heads of state at a nuclear security summit starting Monday in Washington.

"I am coming to share with President Obama and other heads of state the bold plan Kazakhstan implemented to reduce and prevent the threat of nuclear terrorism through nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful civilian power use," he said in a statement. "It has worked well for Kazakhstan and it can work for the rest of the world."

His statement added that Kazakhstan has offered to host an international nuclear fuel bank that would let countries purchase fuel for civilian nuclear energy reactors. The bank, which could operate under the International Atomic Energy Agency, would potentially keep nuclear material out of the hands of rogue actors.


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