Monday, June 18, 2007

Iran's Enrichment Capability & IAEA Report on Nuclear Fuel Assurances

I want to point out two new posts regarding Iran's enrichment capabilities on ArmsControlWonk by Jeffrey Lewis and TotalWonkerr by Paul Kerr.

Also, the IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei released a new report to the agency's Board of Governors on Friday, June 15. The 90-page report offers a possible new framework for use of nuclear energy and assuring fuel supplies in the face the inherent proliferation risks associated with spreading sensitive nuclear technology as the demand for nuclear energy increases.

The report addresses several proposals that have been put forward over the last two years. According to the press release, "Some proposals call for the creation of an actual or virtual reserve fuel bank of last resort, under IAEA auspices, for the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel. This bank would operate on the basis of apolitical and non-discriminatory non-proliferation criteria. Others call for conversion of a national facility into an international enrichment centre. Still others call for the construction of a new, multinational enrichment facility under IAEA control."

"We are looking these proposals and their associated legal, technical, financial and institutional aspects," Dr. ElBaradei said. "Trends clearly point to the need for developing a new multilateral framework for the nuclear fuel cycle. And it´s clear that an incremental approach, with multiple assurances in place, is the way to move forward."

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