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What is LEU?

LEU is the basic ingredient to fabricate nuclear fuel. It is made by enriching naturally occurring uranium to improve its ability to produce energy. Enrichment increases the concentration of atoms that can be split to produce heat. This heat in turn is used to generate electricity. The LEU that will be stored in the IAEA LEU Bank will have enrichment levels up to nominally 4.95%, suitable to make fuel for a typical light water reactor, the most widely used type of nuclear power reactor worldwide. LEU is safely stored and transported in strong steel cylinders. 

LEU does not deteriorate and can be safely stored for many years. It is a white-grey, waxy solid during storage and transport. LEU is not nuclear waste, nor is any waste generated by simply storing it.


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