IAEA Director General Amano visit Kazakhstan to discuss nuclear energy

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov from August 22 to 23 to discuss matters of nuclear energy.

Amano also met with other senior government officials during his trip, including Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov and Assistant to the President Yerzhan Kazykhanov. During the visit, Amano expressed his gratitude to Kazakhstan for its commitment to the work of the IAEA; Akhmetov confirmed Kazakhstan's commitment to continue to support the organization.

During the visit, the officials spoke about the growing demand for nuclear energy, Kazakhstan's decision to reintroduce nuclear energy to the country to meet the growing demand, the idea of an IAEA nuclear fuel bank to be used for peaceful purposes and general nuclear safety.

Amano commended the officials on Kazakhstan's stance on nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and the implementation of its IAEA mandate. Amano also congratulated the officials for the Kazakh Government's use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Amano was informed that government officials are considering reopening Semipalatinsk, a former nuclear weapons test site, to make use of the land. The IAEA will be working hand-in-hand with Kazakh government officials to examine the region to determine how it can best be used for peaceful economic gains.

This trip marked Amano's second visit to Kazakhstan. The 20th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk test site, titled the International Conference for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, was attended by Amano in October 2011, marking his first trip to the country as Director General.