International cooperation is of significant importance for the Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center development. NNC's positions at the international level have steadily strengthened within recent years. Its contacts with world leading organizations, establishments and companies have extended. NNC's activities capture closer attention of scientists and specialists in the field of nuclear power, radioecology, nuclear and radiation physics, and seismology.
Under Agreement between the USA and RK concerning the Destruction of Silo Launchers of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Emergency Response and Prevention of Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of December 13, 1993 and Agreement between US Department of Defense and RK Ministry for Science-Academy of Sciences concerning Elimination of Infrastructure for Weapons of Mass Destruction of October 3, 1995, efforts to eliminate the nuclear weapon test infrastructure at the Semipalatinsk Test-Site were successfully accomplished. In 1996 to 2000, 181 Degelen Mountain tunnels and 13 Balapan unused boreholes were completely sealed. NNC specialists performed radioecological expert assessment and arranged radioecological monitoring.
NNC's outstanding achievements in the area of safe nuclear power engineering research attract attention of major international science centers in Europe, USA, Japan, and India. Japanese contacts with NNC date back to 1992. The Japanese specialists are primarily interested in two major problems:
- study of consequences of light water reactor severe accidents (COTELS project); and
- modeling of emergency processes for Japanese fast reactor fuel assemblies (EAGLE project).
Upon discussions with American specialists under the agreements concerning interlaboratory cooperation with US Argonne and Los-Alamos National Laboratories, efforts of NNC Institute of Atomic Energy on the export control systems development and upgrading in Kazakhstan were initiated. IAE scientists are engaged in solving a number of tasks including the arrangement of nuclear export, export control and licensing of export of nuclear materials and dual-use technologies.
Under the Agreement between the US Department of Defense and Republic of Kazakhstan concerning nuclear weapon non-proliferation, NNC specialists have updated the system of physical protection, control and accountability of nuclear material and facilities at IGR, Baikal-1 and WWR-K reactor complexes.
Today, efforts under BN-350 fuel removal project are in progress. The project was prepared at the Kazakhstan-American meeting of fuel handling specialists and covers operations on fuel stabilization at BN-350 reactor.
A trilateral agreement between GSI (Germany), ITEF (Russia) and INP (Kazakhstan) concerning study of accelerated beams to plasma interaction is being implemented under the INTAS program.
Under a pentalateral agreement between UCL (Belgium), GANIL (France), NRL JINR (Russia), INR (Ukraine) and INP (Kazakhstan), joint studies on physics and techniques of accelerated radioactive ion beam generation are conducted.
Researches into the radiation and nuclear physics, ion and plasma technology are carried out in collaboration with key European scientific centers under INTAS, COPERNICUS, and IAEA projects.
Pursuant to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, signed by Republic of Kazakhstan on September 30, 1996, the National Nuclear Center carries out monitoring of nuclear tests using the network of NNC geophysical stations established in 1994 through 2002 and the Center of Seismic Data Acquisition and Processing functioning as Kazakhstan National Datacenter. These efforts are fulfilled in close cooperation with a number of national and international organizations broadly experienced in geophysical monitoring: Russian Geophysical Survey, NORSAR (Norway), AFTAC, IRIS, L-DEO (USA), Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), etc.