Evolution of the Kazakstan export control system: The critical role of technical expertise

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Transfer and Supplier Policy Division is sponsoring technical cooperative agreements between Kazakstani partners and U.S. National Laboratories. Those agreements allow Kazakstan to make both political and technical advances in their nuclear export control policy. Kazakstan has shown a very serious commitment to nonproliferation ever since its independence and the subsequent rapid closing of the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991. The experience Kazakstan had with the test site, which was one of the more active in the world, has largely shaped its strong commitment to global nonproliferation. Kazakstan has taken seriously its responsibility for nuclear nonproliferation. Some of the many examples of that commitment are the complete disarmament of all inherited nuclear weapons, the 1994 signing of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the completion of a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and the transfer of 600 kg of highly enriched uranium to the United States through Project Sapphire. These actions all exhibit a strong Kazakstani devotion to nuclear nonproliferation. Moreover, there are a variety of programs dealing with the very sensitive and important topic of material protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A) for the many nuclear sites within Kazakstan.