Libya returns weapons-grade uranium to Russia

International experts have shipped 20 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium from Libya to Russia in previously unannounced operations since Moammar Gadhafi decided in 2003 to end his quest for weapons of mass destruction, a US agency said Thursday. National Nuclear Security Administration spokeswoman Julie Smith said Thursday the latest shipment of three kilograms of highly enriched uranium had been extracted over a two-day period this week from Gadhafi's Tajura research reactor. The facility is near the Mediterranean coast about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Tripoli, Libya's capital. "We had to wait to announce it to make sure it had arrived safely," Smith said. The other shipment of 17 kilograms was returned to Russia in 2004. The agency's announcement said the operation "is part of a multi-step project to remove all Russian-origin HEU material from Libya."