04 October 2022
On October 3-4, 2022, RSE NNC RK was visited by delegation of DOE Department of Energy (DOE/NNSA)) headed by Jill Hruby, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The delegation visited exposition hall of STS, territory of the former Semipalatinsk Test Site, research reactor complex “Baikal-1”, bench complex of Kazakhstan’s Material Testing Tokamak KTM, laboratories.
During the visit to STS, there were presented results of scientific-technical and engineering works by organizations of U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy and specialists of the National Nuclear Center of RK to bring the test site to a safe condition. In the course of works, there were implemented such operations as elimination of nuclear testing infrastructure, conduction of large-scale measures on reduction of proliferation risks of weapons of mass destruction, prevention of access to residues of nuclear activity that are available at the territory of test site.
Today NNC RK in collaboration with US organizations continues to address nonproliferation issues. One of the important projects in this area is the work to reduce the use of highly enriched uranium. Since 2010, NNC in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and BATELLE ENERGY ALLIANCE, LLC has been carrying out a project to convert its two research reactors IVG.1M and IGR to fuel with enrichment below 20% on U-235. This year another significant result in the conversion effort was achieved with the physical start-up of IVG.1M reactor with low-enriched fuel. Currently preparations are ongoing for the power startup of this reactor.
The complex of works on the management of highly enriched spent nuclear fuel from research reactors is successfully carried out.
Another example of our cooperation is the joint project currently under implementation between scientists of Kazakhstan and USA to ensure the safe storage of spent fuel from BN-350 reactor. The work is proceeding very successfully.
Upon the completion of the visit, the U.S. delegation expressed appreciation for the cooperative efforts that have become an important contribution of Kazakhstan to global nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security. We are all agreed that the experience gained, the results achieved, and the established cooperation will form the basis of further fruitful cooperation between U.S. and Kazakhstani organizations.