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US Transferring Nuclear Material Out Of Iraq


US Reports Transferring Nuclear Material Out Of Iraq, Un Atomic Agency Says

Relaying information received from Washington, the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency has told the Security Council that the United States transferred nuclear material out of Iraq last month.

In a letter to the Security Council released today, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, says the US Government advised him of the planned transfer on 19 June, citing “security concerns.”

The US “requested IAEA to keep the information about the intended transfer confidential for the same security reasons,” the letter notes.

On 30 June, Washington informed the IAEA that the transfer of some nuclear material stored at “Location C” – an area previously referred to by the Agency as a nuclear material storage facility near the Tuwaitha complex south of Baghdad – had taken place a week earlier.

According to the letter, “the transferred material consisted of low enriched uranium in the form of approximately 1.8 tons of uranium enriched to 2.6 per cent in uranium-235, as well as some additional 3 kilograms of uranium of various low enrichments.”

Mr. ElBaradei notes that this material is now under US jurisdiction and control, while what remains at Location C is “mostly natural uranium, some depleted uranium and some low enriched uranium waste” subject to IAEA monitoring and verification.

The US Government also informed the Agency that approximately 1,000 highly radioactive sources, most of them previously stored at Location C, were also transferred to the United States, the letter states.

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