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International Nuclear Fuel Bank

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the proposals to create an international nuclear fuel bank; what steps her Department is taking to explore such proposals; and if she will make a statement. (75142)

The UK fully supports the introduction of a reliable supply of fuel cycle services and is co-operating with the US and other partners to develop workable ideas. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the competence to administer such a mechanism and the US will soon submit a joint proposal to them, supported by the UK, to take this work forward. We believe that, in case of market disruption, the Agency could broker a new fuel supply agreement between a state and an alternate supplier. Suppliers, and their Governments, could give an undertaking to provide a back-up if relevant non-proliferation criteria were met. As a last resort, the Agency could make supplies available from a multilateral reserve of uranium, contributed by states with spare material. We look forward to engaging in further discussions and consultations on these issues at the IAEA in Vienna.