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Cablegate: Update On Nuclear Smuggling Incident at Pribenik, Slovakia

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSL #0648 3401429
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061429Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1373
INFO RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST IMMEDIATE 0957
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0034
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 3663
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T BRATISLAVA 000648

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN/CTR A. GOODMAN AND M. CURRY
FBI FOR WMD DIRECTORATE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2019
TAGS: ASEC PARM PREL PTER MNUC KCRM KNNP HU UP LOG
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON NUCLEAR SMUGGLING INCIDENT AT PRIBENIK, SLOVAKIA REF: A. 06 STATE 163201 B. BRATISLAVA 00630 Classified By: Lawrence R. Silverman, Deputy Chief of Mission, reason 1 .4(b) and (d)

1.Secret - Entire Text.

2.(S) Following report prepared by visiting Legatt and by ORA.

3.(S) Embassy, FBI, DOE and DoD officers arrived in country Sunday, 12/02, through Tuesday, 12/04, to assist Slovak law enforcement in further investigation of recently-seized uranium. The primary goal of this advance technical team was to obtain and evaluate spectra and/or acquire additional technical data in an effort to confirm or refute enrichment of seized material. If the evidentiary sample of seized purported Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) tested positive, additional FBI forensic personnel based in Quantico, Virginia were prepared to deploy and support efforts to package and transport evidence back to the US for additional analysis. Over the past week, extensive liaison between host government officials, embassy officials and FBI LEGAT continued with goal of receiving technical data and/or obtaining permission for USG technical team to gather spectra of suspected Uranium, seized during a Slovak law enforcement criminal investigation.

4. (S) The Slovak Police undercover operation led to the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of approximately 400 grams of suspected HEU in November 2007. Prior to this seizure, Slovak law enforcement obtained a two-gram sample in October 2007, which was provided to a Slovak university laboratory for analysis. The lab results from the two-gram sample obtained in October were provided to the USG technical team on Wednesday, 12/05/07. The aforementioned report was immediately transmitted back to the US for translation and analysis. Preliminary USG analysis indicated that the laboratory reports on the two-gram sample provided by Slovak authorities were consistent with depleted uranium and not HEU as originally reported. Due to the details outlined above, and no indication of HEU, the USG technical team currently in Slovakia is scheduled to return to the US beginning Friday, 12/07/07, and concluding Saturday, 12/08/07.
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