IAEA sets up nuclear fuel reserve bank

UN nuclear watchdog sets up nuclear fuel reserve bank

RIA Novosti

04:24 04/12/2010

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) resolved to create an international bank of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to assist developing countries who run civilian nuclear programs, Xinhua said on Saturday.

“The plan says LEU from the IAEA LEU bank will be supplied to Member States that experience a nuclear fuel supply disruption due to exceptional circumstances, and is unable to secure supply from the commercial market,” the agency said, citing a plan passed at the IAEA board meeting.

The location of the facility and the amount of nuclear fuel it would hold are yet unknown.

In 2007 Russia proposed to create a nuclear center with LEU reserves in Angarsk, 117 km (73 miles) away from Lake Baikal, to enable countries to develop civilian nuclear power without having to enrich their own uranium. The center, established late this March, currently has enough fuel to load a 1GW light water reactor twice.

Russia has pledged to give access to the reserves “to any IAEA member country that honors its non-proliferation commitments.”

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