National Security Council releases statement on Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan

U.S. National Security Council (NSC) Spokesman Ned Price released a statement Wednesday on the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan.

Price said the LEU Bank will allow for the safe storage of nuclear material reserved for peaceful fueling purposes for nuclear reactors that may have difficulty acquiring nuclear fuel on international markets.

In 2009, President Barack Obama told the international community that an international fuel bank should be established in order to provide access to necessary fuel sources without risking proliferation activity.

In 2011, the U.S. established the American Assured Fuel Supply, which was created through excess enriched uranium from the U.S. weapons program. Similar programs also exist in the U.K. and the Russian Federation.

Kazakhstan and the IAEA have officially signed the agreement that would bring the internationally controlled LEU bank to Oskemen, Kazakhstan. The LEU bank will be available to all member states of the Nonproliferation Treaty. Kazakhstan initially offered to host the LEU Bank in 2011.

Price said the bank and programs from the U.S., Russia and the U.K. will reduce the incentive for countries to development costly and potentially risky uranium enrichment programs.

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