International IAEA LEU Bank


"Mr. Buffett's excellent idea"

Challenge

As interest in nuclear energy grows, the world risks the spread of enrichment technology which can be used for nuclear weapons

Action

Develop an internationally assured supply of low enriched uranium, creating an option for countries choosing not to develop uranium enrichment capabilities

Results

The first IAEA low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank is being built in Kazakhstan, backed by NTI and Warren Buffett

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), approximately 30 countries are interested in building their first nuclear power plant. If they proceed, all will need nuclear fuel, and they will get it either by buying it from an existing supplier or making it themselves.

The concern:  The same enrichment technology for making peaceful nuclear fuel can also be used for developing weapons. Alarmed by the potential spread of nuclear weapons technology, NTI in 2006 made a bold proposal.

With Warren Buffett’s generous backing, NTI pledged $50 million to the IAEA as seed money for an international bank to supply nations with low-enriched uranium (LEU) to operate nuclear power reactors in case of supply disruption.

The proposal gained instant support, and The New York Times heralded it in an editorial titled “Mr. Buffett’s Excellent Idea.” Called a “breakthrough” and “trailblazing,” the pledge helped unblock years of stagnation on the concept.

NTI’s pledge was conditioned on other nations providing $100 million in matching funds. The European Union, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have all contributed.

IAEA member states voted in favor of the fuel bank in December 2010. The IAEA has worked with the Government of Kazakhstan, the world’s largest producer of uranium ore, to identify a safe and secure site to host the bank. The IAEA Board of Governors approved the host-state agreement in June 2015, and the host-state agreement was signed in Kazakhstan in August 2015.  As the LEU bank is set up, countries interested in peaceful nuclear energy will have more assurances and more options for their energy programs.

Activity

2017


2017


LEU Bank Press Materials

News

LEU Bank Press Materials

Read and download information and resources on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank.

2017


2015


September 15 Event in Vienna on International LEU Bank

News

September 15 Event in Vienna on International LEU Bank

On Aug. 27 2015, the IAEA and the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an agreement to establish a physical reserve of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU Bank) in Oskemen, Kazakhstan.

2015


2015


NTI Featured in Coverage of IAEA Fuel Bank Milestone

News

NTI Featured in Coverage of IAEA Fuel Bank Milestone

"We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe," said NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn at the signing ceremony for the new IAEA low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank.

2015


IAEA Board Approves Agreement for Hosting the IAEA’s LEU Fuel Bank, First of its Kind and “Significant Milestone” in Global Nuclear Cooperation

News

IAEA Board Approves Agreement for Hosting the IAEA’s LEU Fuel Bank, First of its Kind and “Significant Milestone” in Global Nuclear Cooperation

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors today approved a host-state agreement (HSA) between the IAEA and the Government of Kazakhstan for the country to host an international low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank that will provide countries with an assurance of LEU supply for peaceful purposes.

2014


Open the Bank, Urges Nunn

News

Open the Bank, Urges Nunn

In a new op-ed for the International New York Times, Sam Nunn calls for swift action to resolve remaining issues and open an IAEA nuclear fuel bank.

2009


Statement from Sam Nunn on G8 Summit

News

Statement from Sam Nunn on G8 Summit

NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn released a statement expressing support for the commitment made by the G8 to reducing global nuclear dangers.

2009


2008


2008


UAE Commits $10 Million to NTI/IAEA Fuel Bank

News

UAE Commits $10 Million to NTI/IAEA Fuel Bank

The international fuel bank proposed by NTI received a significant boost todaywith a $10 million commitment from the United Arab Emirates.

2007


NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn praises U.S. commitment of $50 million to help create a low enriched uranium stockpile managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency

News

NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn praises U.S. commitment of $50 million to help create a low enriched uranium stockpile managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency

Former Senator Sam Nunn praised the government for approving millions to help create a low enriched uranium stockpile managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

2006


2006


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