( RIA Novosti ) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to establish an international nuclear fuel bank in a non-nuclear country in view of Iran's and North Korea's continuing atomic research.
The bill follows Russia's initiative to form a global network of nuclear cycle centers as a way to maintain the non-proliferation regime and defuse international tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The bill, International Nuclear Fuel for Peace and Nonproliferation Act of 2007, said the bank must be set up under the supervision of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, and it would only be available to countries cooperating with IAEA inspectors and having no uranium enrichment or fuel processing facilities on their territories.
The project is estimated at $150 million for 2008. The bill said $50 million must be earmarked from the U.S. budget, another $50 million is to be provided as a grant from the Nuclear Threat Initiative fund, and $50 million from other member-countries of the IAEA.
Russia has also recently proposed establishing international control over a Russian uranium enrichment center, an initiative welcomed by the new U.S. bill.