WASHINGTON — In a secret operation to secure nuclear material, the United States has helped Ukraine send to Russia enough uranium to build two atomic bombs.
This week's removal of more than 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of highly enriched uranium followed a pledge by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to get rid of all of his country's highly enriched uranium by April 2012. The material will be blended down in Russia, rendering it useless for bomb making.
Yanukovych agreed to give up the uranium in a deal announced at a nuclear security summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in April. On Friday, Obama praised Yanukovych for the shipment.