Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Announcing Determination To Make Uranium Available for Peaceful Uses.

February 22, 1956

MANKIND'S HOPES and aspirations for peace and greater well-being are closely linked to the world's progress in developing the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The program to further this development has advanced steadily in the past two years.

I am announcing today further steps by the United States toward the production of peaceful power from the atom.

At the recommendation of Chairman Lewis L. Strauss of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, in which the Departments of State and Defense concur, I have determined, under Section 41b of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, that substantial quantities of the special nuclear material uranium 235 may now be designated for research and development purposes and for fueling nuclear power reactors at home and abroad. This material will be available for either sale or lease under conditions prescribed by the United States Government. The Commission's recommendations are based on extensive studies that have been in progress since enactment of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

The quantities of uranium 235 which will be made available for distribution over a period of years under this determination are:

a. In the United States, through lease for all licensed civilian purposes, principally for power reactors--20,000 kilograms.

b. Outside the United States, through sale or lease for peaceful purposes, principally power and research reactors--20,000 kilograms. This is in addition to the 200 kilograms already made available for research reactors abroad.

It is not intended that nations which are presently producing uranium 235, or the Soviet Union and its satellites, shall share in this distribution.

Distribution of special nuclear material will be subject to prudent safeguards against diversion of the materials to nonpeaceful purposes.

The quantities of uranium 235 to be made available as a result of this determination will permit us to carry out our responsibilities in the development of atomic energy for the common defense and security of the United States and for contributing to the peace and general welfare of the world.

Significant actions are under way to create an international agency and an integrated community for Western Europe to develop peaceful uses of atomic energy. The United States welcomes this progress and will cooperate with such agencies when they come into existence.

The special nuclear material to be made available will support the start of nuclear power programs with a generating capacity of several millions of electrical kilowatts. With this assurance, such programs may be undertaken in the next several years, in this country and abroad.

As additional projects are undertaken by our industry and by other nations, more nuclear fuel will be required. The Atomic Energy Commission has informed me that it will recommend that additional supplies be made available as become necessary in the future.

This action demonstrates the confidence of the United States in the possibilities of developing nuclear power for civilian uses. It is an earnest of our faith that the atom can be made a powerful instrument for the promotion of world peace.

Note: A statement by Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, concerning the President's action was also released. Both statements are printed in Appendix 8 to the 20th semiannual report of the Commission (Government Printing Office, 1956).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Announcing Determination To Make Uranium Available for Peaceful Uses. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232978

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