A Nuclear Fuel Bank: Risk and Response in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Lawrence Scheinman, Distinguished Professor of the Monterey Institute Center for Non Proliferation Studies, and Laura Holgate, Vice President for Russia/New Independent States Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative, discuss the concept of a nuclear fuel bank to assure the international supply of nuclear fuel. NTI has offered $50 million to help establish a low enriched uranium stockpile owned and managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, on the condition that another $100 million can be raised by the international donor community. The stockpile could help to constrain the proliferation of enrichment activities and also act as a confidence building measure supporting the energy needs of those who exercise restraint. What implications does a bank have for the Non Proliferation Treaty and how does it relate to the concept of an “inalienable right” to research and develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes? Can countries engage in enrichment (or reprocessing) without increasing the risk of future proliferation? Can nuclear proliferation be constrained with widespread agreement in the international nuclear community?

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