The European Commission has published the Euratom Supply Agency's annual report for 1996, which outlines the Agency's activities aimed at ensuring security of supply for Member States which use nuclear energy. The Agency has an exclusive right to conclude supply contracts for nuclear fuels for power generation in the Member States. In this context, during 1996, the Agency has aimed to continue diversifying sources of supply, in order to ensure sufficient provision for the needs of all EU Member States. During 1996, natural uranium prices rose, and consequently, overall production increased, with mines opened or re-opened. Prices for enriched uranium remained stable, however. The former Soviet Union remains the biggest supplier of natural uranium to the EU and, here too, the Agency aimed to diversify supply during 1996. A new cooperation agreement with the USA entered into force during 1996 and contacts were maintained with a number of the EU's other nuclear trading partners.