IAEA Fuel Bank Could Open in 2013

An unprecedented multilateral repository of fissile nuclear power plant material could open its doors in Kazakhstan in the latter part of 2013, the nation’s top diplomat told the Wall Street Journal in remarks reported on Tuesday.

Washington and European governments have pursued talks on the planned site with Kazakhstan in an effort to provide incipient state atomic power programs with a reliable alternative to establishing their own nuclear fuel production capabilities. The planned facility would open with a 60-ton low-enriched uranium capacity.

Uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing can generate power plant fuel as well as nuclear-bomb ingredients.

The time line for the facility’s opening is not “set in stone,” but related talks with the Kazakh government are moving forward, an IAEA insider said.

The Vienna, Austria-based organization and other entities have committed $150 million toward the site’s establishment (Jay Solomon, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 7).

Courtesy of  GSN
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