WASHINGTON – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, CNN creator Ted Turner and former Sen. Sam Nunn pledged $50 million to the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency Tuesday to create a uranium stockpile.
The aim is to discourage countries from developing their own nuclear programs. The reserve would ensure supplies of low-grade fuel for nuclear power plants around the world. One example of a program they hope to discourage is in Iran, which critics fear is ultimately aimed at developing weapons.
The Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative is hoping its financial pledge to the International Atomic Energy Agency will prod governments into action on creating the stockpile. Buffett would provide the money, which is contingent on a $100 million match from IAEA member states.
“Under international law and under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, countries have the right to enrich nuclear fuel,” Nunn, a former Georgia Democratic senator, said from Vienna, where he announced the proposal at a 140-country IAEA annual conference. “If we have a lot more countries that do that – and we’re on the threshold of that now – then it’s going to be an extremely dangerous world.”