Ex-IAEA official warns of Libya 'dirty bomb' material

By REUTERS
August 24, 2011 10:43

VIENNA  - A research center near Tripoli stocks uranium and other material that could be used to make a nuclear "dirty bomb" and Libya's rebels will need to secure it, a former senior UN inspector said on Wednesday.

Seeking to mend ties with the West, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons -- a move that brought him in from the cold and helped end decades of isolation.

Olli Heinonen, head of nuclear safeguards inspections worldwide for the UN atomic watchdog until mid-2010 and now at Harvard University, said Libya's uranium enrichment program was subsequently taken apart.

Sensitive material and documentation ranging from nuclear weapons design information to centrifuge components were also confiscated, Heinonen said in an online commentary.


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