ASTANA – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi commended Kazakhstan’s role in the global movement for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation during an April 18 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, reported the Akorda press service.
“We are working closely in different areas. I would be happy to exchange views with you on a wide range of topics from healthcare to the country’s future nuclear energy development program,” said Grossi.
Tokayev noted the importance of Grossi’s visit for strengthening cooperation between the sides, emphasizing the leading role of the IAEA in the peaceful use of atomic energy and strengthening the nuclear safety regime.
“Kazakhstan prioritizes cooperation with the agency. We are very interested and highly appreciate your activities as the head of this important structure,” Tokayev said.
The sides addressed strengthening technical cooperation and the construction of nuclear power plants in the country.
During the meeting with Kazakh Energy Minister Almasadam Satkaliyev, the sides signed the Country Program Framework for 2023-2028, defining priority development needs and interests, reported the ministry’s press service.
The new program for the next five years was developed considering the accumulated experience of technical cooperation and the country’s plans to build its first nuclear power plant. It defines four priority areas: nuclear power infrastructure, nuclear and radiation safety, food security, and nuclear medicine.
The transfer of nuclear technology and technical cooperation resources is expected to support the country’s national development goals.
The IAEA will also help decommission the first industrial reactor facility in the Mangystau Region, reported Khabar 24 channel. International experts will consult domestic specialists, including on the issues of nuclear power plant construction.
While in Kazakhstan, Grossi visited the low-enriched uranium bank in Ust-Kamenogorsk and noted the professionalism of local nuclear scientists.
“The work of the low-enriched uranium bank shows not only the IAEA but the entire international community that nuclear energy is safe. The countries of Asia, North America, and even Africa are showing interest in nuclear energy. Given the climate change, the interest in this industry is very high,” said Grossi.
Kazakhstan has been cooperating with the IAEA since 1994, gaining access to the latest technology and research developments and strengthening its scientific and technical potential.