Astana mulls implementation of Kazakh-U.S. joint action plan

Kazakhstan, Astana, July 14 / Trend S.Suleymanov /

Astana discusses the implementation of the Kazakh-U.S. joint action plan on nuclear energy agreed in October 2009, Deputy Assistant US Secretary of Energy International Nuclear Policy and Cooperation, Edward McGinnis, who is on two-day visit to Kazakhstan, said.

"We have signed the document - the technical task of the working subgroups on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the first expert group meeting will be held tomorrow in Astana," McGinnis said.

The Kazakh-U.S. joint action plan aimed at cooperation in the framework of partnership in the energy field in four directions. First - a nuclear security and atomic energy, second- oil and gas, third - renewable energy and energy efficiency and fourth - electricity.

"I am in Astana to discuss cooperation with Kazakhstan on civil and peaceful energy as part of a common approach on the use of low hydrological energy sources to create a low-carbon or carbon-free future for the planet," McGinnis said.

He said the U.S. experts are studying the best areas for mutually beneficial cooperation with Kazakhstan, which is one of the largest suppliers of uranium in the world. This topic will be the main one at the working group meeting.

"For example, the deployment of modular reactors of low power could be named as a promising area for cooperation with Kazakhstan," McGinnis said.

In addition, he recalled that both the U.S. and Kazakhstan emphasize on the provision of any program on nuclear energy, which will be implemented through joint action plan.

Mr. McGinnis is responsible for the Department of Energy's international civilian nuclear energy activities, including international nuclear energy research, development and demonstration cooperation, international framework and partnership development, international nuclear energy policy, and other international civilian nuclear energy-related activities carried out by the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. 

As part of these responsibilities, Mr. McGinnis serves as Steering Group Chairman of the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation that consists of approximately 50 participating countries and serves as the Departmental Representative to the U.S. Trade and Promotion Coordination Committee on civil nuclear energy matters.  Within the Office of Nuclear Energy, Mr. McGinnis has also served as a Vice Chairman and Principal U.S. Representative to the Generation IV International Forum and was responsible for US domestic nuclear fuel assurance matters, including technical oversight activities regarding the United States Enrichment Corporation, uranium inventory management matters, as well as US nuclear energy security matters.

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