At their meeting in Astana on July 13, Ed McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Albert Rau, First Vice Minister of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, signed the Terms of Reference for the Sub-Working Group on Nuclear Energy under the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership.
The Joint Action Plan agreed to in October 2009 by the Energy Partnership’s co-chairmen, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Minister of Oil and Gas (then Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources) Sauat Mynbayev, focuses U.S.-Kazakhstani cooperation under the Energy Partnership in four areas: nuclear security and nuclear energy; oil and gas; renewable energy and energy efficiency; and electric power. In the area of nuclear energy, the United States and Kazakhstan intend to share expertise between national laboratories and scientific organizations that will facilitate the safe and secure development of Kazakhstan’s commercial nuclear industry.
The United States and Kazakhstan have long-standing cooperation in the energy sector. U.S. President Obama and Secretary of Energy Chu met with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2010, and issued a joint statement that pledged to intensify bilateral cooperation to promote nuclear safety and non-proliferation, regional stability in Central Asia, economic prosperity, and universal values.