Archive for June 19th, 2009

“Developing nations remain suspicious of fuel bank, non-proliferation efforts”

“Developing nations remain suspicious of fuel bank, non-proliferation efforts”
June 18 & 19, 2009
     The G77 and Non-Aligned Movement have rejected an IAEA initiative for an international nuclear fuel bank, which would supply nations with uranium and limit the need for indigeneous enrichment programs. In a joint statement, the two groups stressed their view that assurance of supply should not discourage states from pursuing the nuclear fuel cycle (Agence France-Presse). Efforts toward a fuel bank have been spurred by Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Discussions will continue on two proposals, including an IAEA plan to purchase 60-80 tons of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to sell to member states as well a proposal to host a 120-ton LEU reserve in Russia (Reuters). NAM also released a statement calling for the Iranian nuclear issue to be resolved within the legal frameworks of the IAEA (Tehran Times).
     In a 2008 report, Deepti Choubey argues that non-nuclear weapon states, particularly developing nations and members of NAM, are frustrated with the lack of progress in disarmament and suspicious of non-proliferation initiatives. There is strong opposition to fuel-cycle initiatives that would require non-nuclear states to forego enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. Choubey argues that nuclear weapon states, particularly the US, must first make strong efforts toward disarmament in order to neutralize the perception that non-proliferation is being pursued at the expense of disarmament (Carnegie Endowment).
Agence France-Presse | Reuters | Tehran Times | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace