One joint venture will extract uranium ore from the Budyonovskoye deposit in Kazakhstan. Another one will enrich it on Russian territory.
The third joint venture will develop a new type of small and medium-sized nuclear reactor that could be sold to other countries.
The agreements were signed on the sidelines of a July 25 meeting in the Caspian Sea city port of Aqtau between Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov and Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Russian Atomic Agency, which is also known as Rosatom.
Akhmatov today said the nuclear industry was one of the most promising fields of cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan.
The two countries are already involved in a joint project to extract uranium in southern Kazakhstan. The Zarechnoye joint venture, which also involves Kyrgyzstan, is expected to produce its first ore later this year and export it to Russia.
Rosatom is seeking to convince Uzbekistan to participate in a similar project in Kazakhstan.
(Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)
Click on the map to view the locations of Russia's civilian nuclear power plants.
POWER OF THE ATOM: As Russia's economy recovers from the collapse of the 1990s, the government is moving forward with plans to expand its nuclear-energy sector. Russia currently has 31 civilian nuclear-power reactors in operation, with the newest being Kalinin-3, which came on line in 2004. Nuclear power accounts for 16 percent of Russia's total power generation. Three additional reactors are currently under construction.
Many of Russia's reactors are quite old. In 2000, the government announced plans to extend the working lifetime of 12 first-generation reactors. So far, seven of these reactors have been upgraded for 15-year extensions and all 12 of them are expected to be replaced by 2020.
Russia controls about 4 percent of the world's known uranium deposits, producing some 2,900 tons of uranium in 2002. Russia has four operating uranium-enrichment plants, the largest of which is located at Novouralsk near Yekaterinburg.
The government has not yet approved a proposal for a permanent nuclear-waste storage facility on the Kola Peninsula.