". . .assurances of nuclear fuel supply and multinationalizing sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle, are vital. . ."
Kuwait has become the latest nation to contribute funds to U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet's proposed multinational low-enriched uranium fuel bank. The country's $10 million contribution has helped the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) reach its $100 million goal and then some.
NTI, of which Buffet is an advisor, is an international charitable organization formed with the intent to reduce worldwide threats from chemical, biological, and in this case, nuclear weapons. In 2006, Buffett donated $50 million to create a uranium fuel bank that would be under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The donation was made with two stipulations:
- The IAEA receive an additional $100 million in funding (or equivalent value of uranium)
- The IAEA take action to approve establishment of the reserve.
The idea of creating an IAEA-monitored nuclear fuel bank that would allow nations with no enrichment facilities to purchase fuel to power their nuclear facilities has been around for a while now. The intent is to prevent countries like Iran from developing uranium-enrichment programs that could ultimately lead to atomic weapons. The NTI's proposed fuel bank has garnered the support of the U.S. ($50 million contribution), the European Union ($32 million), the United Arab Emirates ($10 million), and Norway ($5 million).