Japan signs nuclear pact with Kazakhstan

TOKYO, March 2 Tue Mar 2, 2010 9:41am GMT

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TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters) - Japan on Tuesday signed a nuclear pact with Kazakhstan, allowing it to obtain stable supplies of uranium in exchange for nuclear technology.

It follows a nuclear supply deal with Russia last year that will enable trade in technology and uranium while addressing proliferation issues. [ID:nT165017]

Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co (9503.T), trading house Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) and Tokyo-based Nuclear Fuel Industries Ltd in 2007 signed an accord with Kazakh state-owned nuclear firm Kazatomprom on cooperation in uranium processing to fuel Kansai's nuclear power plants.

Kazakhstan, which became the world's largest uranium producer last year and has been responsible for the bulk of global output growth in the last few years, will produce 18,000 tonnes of uranium in 2010, Kazatomprom said in December. [ID:nLDE5BT046]

Japan relies on nuclear power for about a quarter of its electricity and plans to increase production as part of plans to cut carbon emissions to combat climate change. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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