Introducing management-based or technology-based mechanisms to inhibit or limit the spread of enrichment (and reprocessing) facilities must be handled carefully to avoid increasing the likelihood of new states establishing domestic enrichment. Discussion of restricting access to enrichment technology, even with international fuel supply centers, has prompted more countries (not fewer) to declare their interests in developing enrichment facilities within their borders.
The governments of the United States and Russia should continue to support a broad menu of approaches to increasing assurance of nuclear fuel supply.
An array of mechanisms for assurance of nuclear fuel supply has been proposed, from diversified long-term contracts through the existing market, enrichment bonds,20 and international fuel centers to creating a virtual or actual fuel bank. Some of these are already in place. The Russian and U.S. governments should support a broad menu of these approaches, ensuring that these do not undermine each other.
The governments of the United States and Russia should seek to establish additional benefits and incentives for countries that choose not to establish their own uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing facilities. Possibilities could include assistance with establishing the necessary infrastructure for safe and secure use of nuclear energy.
To support nonproliferation goals, the nations that currently supply nuclear fuel should work expeditiously with other countries and the IAEA to make assured fuel supplies available before there is a major commitment to new nuclear power plants by countries that do not have them today.