Washington, DC - The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved an agreement between the IAEA and Kazakhstan to establish a bank of low enriched uranium (LEU) in that country. When it is finally established, the LEU would be owned by the IAEA and the bank operated by Kazakhstan. The LEU would be made available to member states of the IAEA for peaceful nuclear reactor fuel if they could not obtain LEU on the global commercial market.
The United States strongly supports this action of the Board of Governors. In his speech in Prague on April 5, 2009, President Obama called for the creation of an international fuel bank as part of a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation. Nuclear fuel supply assurance mechanisms, such as the IAEA LEU bank, make an important contribution to the ability of IAEA Member States to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by providing assurance that they will be able to obtain nuclear fuel to operate their reactors. The LEU bank will also support our nuclear nonproliferation policies by reducing incentives for the spread of sensitive technologies to new countries. This undertaking further demonstrates Kazakhstan’s leadership in nonproliferation and nuclear security.