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China, Pakistan agree to uranium cooperation

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said it had signed a framework agreement with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on Monday.

The agreement includes technical cooperation in the exploration and development of uranium resources between the two countries. Under the new agreement, China’s uranium industry will fully employ its technological advantages, its nuclear research institutes, nuclear chemistry industry, aerial remote sensing centre and other units in its cooperation with Pakistan.

CNNC, which said Pakistan is an “important bridge across the Middle East and South Asia”, has already exported four 300 MWe reactors to that country and is constructing two 1000 MWe units. It said it is actively engaged in cooperation with Pakistan in uranium resources, nuclear technology applications, the training of workers and other areas.

In March, CNNC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Geological Survey regarding bilateral cooperation in uranium and thorium resources. CNNC will carry out exploration of nine potential areas in Saudi Arabia within the next two years. In late May, CNNC said it had completed the field work phase and identified several target mineral areas for further investigation.

On 15 July, CNNC’s Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology to collaborate in research on extracting uranium from seawater. According to that agreement, Saudi and Chinese researchers will conduct a two-year investigation.

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