UN: Weapons-grade uranium stocks must be cut

June 19, 2006 14:47

The world must reduce stockpiles of weapons grade uranium to prevent terrorists from getting hold of the material and using it to build crude atomic weapons, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency said Monday. In opening remarks read to an international symposium, Mohamed ElBaradei said that "there are clear signs of terrorists trying to acquire nuclear material through criminal networks." ElBaradei, who was not able to attend the meeting, said in his statement that there is enough highly enriched uranium, or HEU, in the world to make tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. "Nearly 100 civilian facilities around the world operate with weapon-grade HEU" and not all of it is under proper security, ElBaradei's special assistant, Vilmos Cserveny, said, reading from the statement.

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