By exporting HEU to Europe United States contradicts its own Nuclear Security Summit pledge

In a letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Alan Kuperman, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Coordinator of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (, draws attention to the fact that the planned export of highly-enriched uranium to Europe for medical isotope production would contradict the commitment made by Belgium, France, Netherlands, and the United States at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

In a joint statement issued in Seoul in 2012,

Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, in cooperation with the United States, reaffirm[ed] their determination to support conversion of European production industries to non-HEU-based processes by 2015.

The statement goes on to say that this commitment is "subject to regulatory approvals," which means that a delay is possible. However, Alan Kuperman argues that there is no evidence that any of the Institute for Radioelements (IRE) customers requested a regulatory approval and in any event the delay is unreasonably long. Also, the request of 7.2 kg of HEU, which is an amount comparable to what was requested in the past, "shows that Belgium not only has reneged on its commitment to convert completely to LEU targets by the end of 2015, but it has failed even to convert a substantial fraction of its production to LEU targets."