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ISTC and National Nuclear Centre (NNC) in Kazakhstan: Twenty-five years of fruitful cooperation and many more to come

ISTC and National Nuclear Centre (NNC) in Kazakhstan: Twenty-five years of fruitful cooperation and many more to come

At the beginning of August, Prof. Dr. Sergey Lukashenko, NNC Deputy Director General for Radiology and Director of the Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology (IRSE) visited ISTC Head Office in Astana. He discussed with ISTC Executive Director David Cleave the prospects for ongoing and future cooperation, based on the impressive record of a quarter of a century long partnership. Throughout these twenty-five years 23 ISTC - funded projects were carried out by NNC worth approximately USD 7.2 million. In addition to the ongoing lithium research projects K-2204, two more projects related to the Semipalatinsk Test Site are in the pipeline, resulting in a situation, whereas ISTC has collaborated with NNC on one new project per every year of the existence of both organizations.

Executive Director David Cleave thanked the NNC leadership for the hospitality accorded to ISTC representatives during their recent visit to Kurchatov as members of an official EU delegation. This delegation, led by the EU Ambassador Traian Hristea, comprised of prominent representatives of the fusion research, in particular EUROfusion, ITER project, Fusion for Energy and other officials. The program of the visit included a technical tour to: the thermonuclear material studying reactor Tokamak KTM, the IVG reactor at the ’Baikal - 1’, research reactor complex; the materials research labs; the IGR research reactor site, the Polygon museum and the Semipalatinsk test site (STS). Participants in the visit discussed the prospects of harnessing magnetic confinement fusion to deliver affordable, safe and environmentally sustainable electricity. They highlighted the potential of cooperation between the European Union and Kazakhstan in the field of nuclear fusion, after the recent signature of the Agreement between ITER and National Nuclear Centre of Kazakhstan. ISTC is ready  to facilitate this cooperation.

At the ISTC Headquarters professor Sergey Lukashenko was debriefed on ISTC transformation process and the importance attached to the ISTC Parties’ Targeted Initiatives. Some of them coincide with NNC priority areas, such as the creation of inventory of radiation sources in Kazakhstan. The two interlocutors discussed also the continuous cooperation in the field of export control on dual use materials and technologies, noting that the new ISTC-implemented EU project in that area should help the regionalization of the activities of the Identification Centre located at IRSE.

The meeting in Astana was also attended by ISTC Deputy Executive Director Aidyn Turebayev and Kamen Velichkov, ISTC Senior Program Manager and Diplomatic Advisor.