Russia creates world's first nuclear fuel bank: Rosatom

1st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia has successfully completed the creation of the world's first international nuclear fuel bank under an agreement with the IAEA, the Rosatom state atomic energy corporation said Wednesday.

The fuel bank now stores 120 tonnes of low-enriched uranium (LEU) in the Siberian city of Angarsk, the Russian agency said in a statement.

"This is enough to complete two refuels of the world's most commonly-used light-water reactors with a capacity of 1,000 MW," the Rosatom statement said.

The fuel has been enriched to between two and 4.95 percent and is being kept under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA approved the reserve's creation at a two-day meeting in November. It is meant to ensure stable fuel supplies to partner nations in case of disruptions of the international uranium enrichment services market.

LEU is used by most of today's civilian nuclear power plants. The creation of the bank was first proposed in September 2007 by Russia, which fears nuclear fuel supply cutoffs being used by developed nations for political purposes.

© 2010 AFP

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