Deputy Vice President, Nuclear Materials Security
As interest in nuclear energy grows, the world risks the spread of enrichment technology which can be used for nuclear weapons
Develop an internationally assured supply of low enriched uranium, creating an option for countries choosing not to develop uranium enrichment capabilities
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.
LEU Bank is model of international cooperation to reduce nuclear proliferation risks and build a safer world
Read and download information and resources on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank.
Read Nobel Laureate and former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's statement on the inauguration of the IAEA LEU bank facility in Kazakhstan.
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.
IAEA and the Gov't of Kazakhstan today signed an agreement that will allow the country to host an international LEU bank that will provide countries with an LEU supply.
"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.
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.
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.
NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn released a statement expressing support for the commitment made by the G8 to reducing global nuclear dangers.
The government of Kuwait's $10 million commitment to the international fuel bank exceeds the fuel bank's initial goal of $100 million.
Sam Nunn praises the European Union's 25 million euro commitment to the International Atomic Energy Agency's nuclear fuel bank.
The international fuel bank proposed by NTI received a significant boost todaywith a $10 million commitment from the United Arab Emirates.
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.
Nuclear Threat Initiative Commits $50 Million to Create IAEA Nuclear Fuel Bank