Kazakhstan seeks new uranium exports route.

By bne IntelliNews October 11, 2010
Kazakhstan is seeking new uranium exports route. The government plans to establish a new route to transport uranium ore mined in Kazakhstan via the Trans-Siberian Railway to Nakhodka and further with ships to Japan. The reason was a terrorist attack on a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. tanker in July as it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The new route would halve the travel time by half. Presently, Kazakh uranium is transported to enrichment plants in France, Britain and other countries to be processed into fuel. Then, the fuel is shipped by ships via the Strait of Hormuz. Kazakh economy, trade and industry minister asked Moscow for approval to process uranium in Russia and to use the railway and the port. Japan hopes to start using the new route from next year. Significantly, Kazakhstan accounts for 21% of Japan's uranium imports. It is planned to increase uranium exports to Japan as companies such as Tokyo Electric Power Co, Kansai Electric Power and Marubeni Corp. rushing to acquire stakes in the Kazakh mines.

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