Kazakhstan may have relinquished its arsenal of nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it is seeking to expand its role in a variety of atomic energy-related fields. The country hopes to outstrip rivals Canada and Australia next year to become the world’s biggest uranium producer.
300 tons of spent fuel in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan's military forces this summer held a training exercise to thwart a fake terrorist assault on a Soviet-built nuclear facility near Almaty, the country's former capital located on its southeastern border.
In the exercise, a reactor was the simulated target of terrorists trying to steal some of the deadliest nuclear material ever made. It came, by no coincidence, as U.S. and Kazakh officials put the finishing touches on a plan to move 300 tons of used nuclear fuel from a decommissioned Soviet nuclear reactor near the port city of Aktau on the Caspian Sea not far from Iran.