International Fuel Bank

Sam Nunn announced that the Nuclear Threat Initiative is prepared to contribute $50 million to the IAEA to help create a low enriched uranium stockpile owned and managed by the IAEA.

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  • IAEA Vienna, Austria

Warren Buffett, one of NTI’s key advisors, is financially backing and enabling the NTI commitment. NTI envisions that this stockpile will be available as a last-resort fuel reserve for nations that have made the sovereign choice to develop their nuclear energy based on foreign sources of fuel supply services — and therefore have no indigenous enrichment facilities.

The goal of the proposed initiative is to help make fuel supplies from the international market more secure by offering customer states that are in full compliance with their nonproliferation obligations reliable access to a nuclear fuel reserve under impartial IAEA control should their supply arrangements be disrupted. In so doing, NTI hopes to make a state’s voluntary choice to rely on this market more secure.

NTI's contribution is contingent on two conditions, provided they are both met within the next two years: (1) that the IAEA takes the necessary actions to approve establishment of this reserve; and (2) that one or more member states contribute an additional $100 million in funding or an equivalent value of low enriched uranium to jump-start the reserve. Every other element of the arrangement—its structure, its location, the conditions for access — would be up to the IAEA and its member states to decide.

In its full expression, we envision a fuel reserve of sufficient size to give current and prospective customer states confidence that they will be able to obtain nuclear fuel in the event their fuel supplies are interrupted. We believe that this reserve must not be so large as to impair the historically efficient and effective operation of nuclear fuel markets. The quantity of low enriched uranium held by the IAEA will have to be determined by supplier states, customer states and the IAEA. We hope that NTI’s contribution combined with the additional $100 million will constitute a credible initial reserve, which must, of course, grow as the nuclear power market grows in the future.

Read Sen. Nunn's speech

Read Laura Holgate's speech


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