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Location of the IAEA LEU Bank: Oskemen, Kazakhstan

The site: Oskemen, Kazakhstan

The IAEA LEU Bank is located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen, a city of close to 300,000 inhabitants, in north-eastern Kazakhstan. It is the capital of the East-Kazakhstan region and has a large mining and metals industry. The Ulba Metallurgical Plant is a licensed nuclear site with commercial scale operations and the complete infrastructure to safely and securely store, transport and process LEU.

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer of uranium. It has a well-established nuclear infrastructure, with decades of experience in nuclear fuel supply. It is an international leader in non-proliferation initiatives and also plays a key role in the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel.

Kazakhstan has concluded both a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and an Additional Protocol with the IAEA. In 2011, Kazakhstan offered to host the IAEA LEU Bank in Oskemen in response to the IAEA’s request for Expressions of Interest. The Host State Agreement between the IAEA and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan establishing the IAEA LEU Bank in Kazakhstan was approved by the Board of Governors on 11 June 2015 and signed on 27 August 2015. The storage facility that houses the LEU Bank, designed and constructed for this purpose, was inaugurated in August 2017.

The IAEA has signed transit agreements with the Russian Federation and China to enable IAEA LEU to be delivered to and from the IAEA LEU Bank.

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