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EU Commissioners Back Nuclear Agreement With Kazakhs

October 24, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission says it has recommended that the Council of the European Union conclude a cooperation agreement with Kazakhstan on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The commission says in a statement posted to the EU website today that the deal should facilitate nuclear trade with Kazakhstan, while complying with nonproliferation rules, and help improve uranium supplies to Europe's nuclear industry.

Kazakhstan is the world's third-largest uranium producer, after Australia and Canada. However, it accounts for only 3 percent of uranium deliveries to EU nuclear facilities.

The commission says the proposed cooperation could take the form of exchanges of technical information and experts, seminars, and the development of joint programs and projects.

It says the agreement should have an initial 10-year duration with an estimated commercial value of 500,000 euros ($628,000).