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U.N. watchdog worries about Gaddafi’s uranium stock

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, December 22, 2011 14:18 EDT
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Libyans walk down a street in Sirte, 360 km east of the capital Tripoli, on December 19. The UN atomic watchdog has told Libya to urgently find a home for yellow cake uranium from the Moamer Kadhafi era left in thousands of deteriorating barrels, a UN envoy said. Photo: AFP.
 
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The UN atomic watchdog has told Libya to urgently find a home for yellow cake uranium from the Moamer Kadhafi era left in thousands of deteriorating barrels, a UN envoy said Thursday.

Kadhafi renounced efforts to make weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear bombs, in 2003, but a major storage base with the raw uranium was found in the uprising which led to his death in October.

An International Atomic Energy Agency team completed a visit to the Tajoura nuclear complex in Tripoli and the Sabha uranium storage base, in the desert of southern Libya, on December 9, UN envoy to Libya, Ian Martin, told the UN Security Council.

He said the IAEA believed that none of the registered nuclear materials at either base has gone missing, but did have concerns.

“While there was no immediate health or radiation risk, an expeditious sale and transfer of the approximately 6,400 barrels of nuclear materials in Sabha was strongly recommended,” Martin said.

“The storage condition of the barrels is deteriorating and the present safety and security measures at the facility are not deemed sufficient.” Martin said there were no immediate fears of theft because of the size and weight of the barrels.

Yellow cake is the raw unenriched uranium which is the basic raw material for nuclear weapons.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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