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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

EU foreign policy chief welcomes IAEA decision to create nuclear fuel reserve bank

RIA Novosti

23:05 05/12/2010

BRUSSELS, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton welcomed the International Atomic Energy Organization's (IAEA) resolution establishing a low enriched uranium (LEU) bank under the agency's auspices.

The Board of Governors of the IAEA resolved to create an international bank of LEU to assist developing countries who run civilian nuclear programs.

"Following the creation of the low enriched uranium (LEU) Reserve in the Russian Federation in collaboration with the IAEA, today's Resolution constitutes the first decision on an assurance scheme under direct control of the IAEA," Ashton said.

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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