The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has redirected about $10 million from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s low-enriched uranium fuel bank to efforts supporting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology and to fight cancer.
Savannah Blalock, an NNSA foreign affairs specialist, announced the funding reallocation last week at the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference in New York. Initially, $50 million had been designated for the IAEA’s LEU bank.
The supported programs: The $10 million will support three IAEA peaceful uses projects:
- The African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA)
- The Regional Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology Research in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL)
- The Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)
The fuel bank: In 2007, the NNSA provided $50 million to the IAEA to establish the LEU bank. Thirteen years later, the IAEA informed the United States that it did not anticipate needing all the donated funds. It was determined by the NNSA that the best path forward would be to reallocate the remaining funds toward peaceful uses and to help alleviate cancer treatment challenges in developing regions.
Quote: “The United States is seeking to expand access to peaceful uses,” Blalock said during the conference. “It is a critical benefit that can help states meet the U.N. sustainable development goals and enable progress worldwide. Cancer affects us all and we support the expansion of therapeutic programs that support treatment around the world.”