Baku, Azerbaijan, October 18
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delivered a shipment of low enriched uranium (LEU) to a purpose-built facility in Kazakhstan, officially establishing the IAEA LEU Bank aimed at providing assurance to countries about the availability of nuclear fuel, Trend reports with reference to IAEA.
“With the arrival of the first shipment, the IAEA LEU Bank is now established and operational. It is the first time the agency has undertaken a project of this legal, operational and logistical complexity,” IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta said.
According to Marta Ferrari, the IAEA’s Acting Project Executive for the LEU Bank it took more than four weeks to transport the LEU to the site. It required coordination among many partners involved in the project.
“We have gained valuable experience, as well as confidence, that we can use this transport route in case a country requests supply of LEU,” she said.
The establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank are fully funded by voluntary contributions from IAEA Member States and other donors totaling $150 million, covering estimated costs for 20 years of operation. Donors include the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan contributed also in kind by hosting the IAEA LEU Bank.
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