IAEA 35-nation board approves nuclear fuel bank


The 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved an IAEA-run repository for nuclear fuel today, in a move meant to limit proliferation by reducing the incentive for starting domestic uranium enrichment programmes.

 

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

The new fuel bank, and one run by Russia that recently went into operation, are meant to strengthen the rationale for nations to seek fuel from outside sources instead of producing it domestically for civilian nuclear reactors.

Kazakhstan is the most likely candidate, but the location of the new facility has not yet been formally decided. Because enrichment can also make fissile warhead material, the fuel banks are considered a way to reduce possible nuclear weapons proliferation by providing guaranteed supply should normal outside sources dry up. Iran is under four sets of UN Security Council sanctions for refusing to scrap its enrichment activities.

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