UAE commits $10 mn to n-fuel bank proposal

August 8th, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 8 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed $10 million to a nuclear fuel bank proposal launched in September last year by the US-based public charity body Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Hamad Al Kaabi, the UAE’s special representative for international nuclear cooperation, delivered a letter from UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Mohamed ElBaradei, detailing the UAE’s commitment, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The NTI plan calls for a dedicated low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile to be owned and administered by the IAEA.

“Given the UAE government policy commitments to the highest standards of non-proliferation and in support for global non-proliferation goals, the government of the United Arab Emirates would like to express its political and financial support for the proposed IAEA-administered international low-enriched uranium fuel bank,” Sheikh Abdulla stated in his letter.

The bank was created with the idea of providing nations with assurances of nuclear fuel supply, while addressing potential disruptions of fuel shipment.

At the request of the IAEA director general, NTI has extended its deadline by another year for the IAEA and its member states to raise $100 million in addition to the $50 million contribution from NTI.

The deadline was originally scheduled to expire in September 2008 but will now expire in September 2009.

NTI was founded in 2001 by American media baron Ted Turner, and lawyer and politician Sam Nunn in the US with the stated aim of strengthening global security by reducing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and also to reduce the risk that they will actually be used.

In addition to creating global awareness, NTI engages in model programmes to inspire private and governmental efforts toward threat reduction.

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