IAEA approves new nuclear fuel supply plan

08:53, March 11, 2011      

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday approved a new nuclear fuel supply plan designed to help aspiring nuclear power countries gain access to nuclear energy without the risk of weapons proliferation.

The 35-nations IAEA board voted on the Nuclear Fuel Assurance plan jointly proposed by some EU countries, Russia and the United States, with 26 in favor, 0 against, 8 abstentions and 1 absence.

According to the plan, governments supplying nuclear energy and the customer countries would sign a bilateral agreement with the approval of the IAEA, to guarantee that shipments would not be halted for non-commercial reasons.

This was the third IAEA arrangement for establishing a multilateral mechanism on the assurance of nuclear fuel supplies.

A U.S. proposal on the establishment of a Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank run by the IAEA was approved at a board meeting in December while a similar IAEA-supported project was already launched in Russia.

Huang Wei, China's deputy envoy to IAEA, told the boarding meeting that China supports all efforts conducive to promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy and strengthening the non-proliferation regime.

However, he also noted that some relevant countries still had concerns about the Nuclear Fuel Assurance plan.

"We encourage all sides to seek solutions that could be generally accepted through full discussion and consultation," Huang said.

In recent years, some developing countries have voiced concerns that nuclear fuel deals would undermine their own efforts at developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Source: Xinhua
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