France, Kazakhstan sign deal on nuclear fuel plant

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French Industry and Energy Minister Eric Besson signed a deal with the government of Kazakhstan Friday that will see France's Areva open a nuclear fuel plant with Kazakh firm Kazatomprom, his office said.

"This deal commits to the creation in Kazakhstan, the top global producer of uranium, of a nuclear fuel production plant dedicated to the Asian market," a statement said.

"The construction of this plant could start as soon as the feasibility study is completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012," it added.

Besson was on a visit Friday and Saturday to Kazakhstan.

Areva said the plant would consist of a new production line at Kazakhstan's ULBA metallurgical plant that will be 51 percent owned by Kazatomprom and 49 percent by Areva.

© 2011 AFP

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