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Joint Statement by President Obama and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan Announcing Cooperation in the Sphere of Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security

March 31, 2016

The United States and the Republic of Kazakhstan have confirmed a shared commitment to implementing practical measures to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and enhance nuclear security.

The United States welcomes the Republic of Kazakhstan's activities to strengthen nuclear security and implement decisions of the Washington, Seoul, and Hague Nuclear Security Summits.

In this regard, the parties note with satisfaction that Kazakhstan has recently completed the conversion of the VVR-K research reactor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, following the previous conversion of the VVR-K critical assembly.

Moreover, the parties have announced the successful elimination of all fresh highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the VVR-K research reactor in Kazakhstan by down-blending this material at Kazakhstan's nuclear fuel factory and emphasize the commitments of Kazakhstan to return the HEU spent fuel to the Russian Federation as soon as possible, thereby eliminating all HEU from the INP facility.

The parties welcome Kazakhstan's continued commitment to the conversion of the IVG.1M and IGR research reactors to LEU fuel when an acceptable LEU fuel becomes available and to return the HEU spent fuel from these reactors to Russia once their conversion is completed.

The parties support the efforts made by industry to implement new technologies without using sensitive nuclear materials, where technically possible and economically acceptable.

Furthermore, the parties are pleased with the joint efforts made to establish the Nuclear Security Training Center (NSTC). The Center will offer training in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation; material protection, control, and accounting; and countering the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Construction on the NSTC began in late 2015 and the center will be operational by the end of calendar year 2016.

The United States and Kazakhstan and further commit to working together on guard force training, inventory management systems, site and transportation security, cyber security, and cooperation to enhance the global nuclear detection architecture.

The United States and Republic of Kazakhstan attach importance to the Nuclear Security Summit process, underlining the importance of continued efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear security as well as ongoing collaboration between the parties on issues related to strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

Barack Obama, Joint Statement by President Obama and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan Announcing Cooperation in the Sphere of Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317605

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