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Russia creates world’s first nuclear fuel bank: Rosatom

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.

The fuel is enriched to between two and 4.95 percent and is 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 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.