Kazakhstan says not refusing to host nuclear fuel bank

Kazakhstan has dismissed reports that it might scrap cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog on the creation of a low-enriched uranium "bank" in its territory.

"Yes, we can refuse. In this case, the IAEA redeclares the tender and the bank will be located in another country. However, taking into account direct and indirect economic dividends, refusing to deploy the bank would look unfounded," Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov said Thursday.

The government is now engaging in intensive negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the placement of the bank, said Idrisov, adding that the program is still pending for the nuclear agency's final decision.

World powers resumed talks with Iran here on Friday on Iran's nuclear program which the West suspects aims to give Tehran the capability to build an atom bomb, while Tehran insists it is for civilian use.

To curb Iran's enrichment activities, the IAEA has approved the creation of the bank for low-enriched uranium to be hosted in Kazakhstan to separate power generation from the fuel cycle.