Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 150

Kazakhstan announced yesterday a temporary suspension of nuclear fuel production at its Ulba enterprise. The plant, using uranium ore mined in Kazakhstan, produces uranium dioxide tablets, which are then shipped to Russia for further processing into nuclear fuel rods. The rods are being used by Russian civilian nuclear-power plants. Ulba’s general director, Yuri Tuzov, and the head of Russia’s TVEL company–Ulba’s main customer–both cited a market shrinkage as the reason for suspending production at Ulba. Kazakh Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbaev concurred. Kazakhstan is urging the Russian side–and also the German company Nukem which markets some of Ulba’s output–to seek new markets for the Kazakh product in former Soviet republics and in Central Europe. (Russian agencies, August 4)–VS

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