Moscow, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Kazakhstan has issued a transit permit for a subsidiary of Russia's state-run Rosatom agency, the country's nuclear authority said Tuesday.
The deal will allow the company, Isotope, to transport radioactive materials and devices across Kazakhstan and as far as China, including radiogenic nuclides commonly used in the exploration of oil and natural gas, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Industry and New Technologies said.
"This license is an important step towards closer cooperation between Isotope JSC and the oil company Schlumberger Logelco Inc.," the announcement said, adding the international oil firm was interested in transporting ionizing radiation sources and logging devices for the oil and gas industry.
The deal marks the first time that Astana has ever let commercial radioactive cargo be moved across its territory.
The first delivery will see a shipment of a radioactive payload from Moscow to oil fields in Kazakhstan's west and north. From Kazakhstan the route will turn back to Russia for the cargo's final destination in the Krasnoyarsk region.
The permit will also allow Russia to move isotopes to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan where they are used for medical, scientific and industrial purposes.
Rosatom also hopes to bring radioactive isotopes to China via the International Border Cooperation Center Horgos on the Kazakh-Chinese border.