Kazakhstan to host international uranium bank

IAEA Kazakhstan to establish low-enriched uranium bank

MOSCOW (AP) - The International Atomic Energy Agency and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement to establish a low-enriched uranium bank in the Central Asian country, a move that supporters say could reduce concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation.

An IAEA statement on Thursday said the bank will be able to hold up to 90 tons of low-enriched uranium, which would be available to IAEA member states if they're unable to obtain nuclear fuel on the commercial market.

Low-enriched uranium is used in reactors at nuclear power plants. Nuclear weapons use uranium enriched to a higher level.

Advocates believe that making the supply of nuclear fuel more reliable could discourage countries from developing their own enrichment facilities, which could be used to make weapons-grade material.

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