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68-kg of nuclear weapon grade uranium removed from Czech: US

Last Updated: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 23:19

Washington: The US in cooperation with its international partners have successfully removed 68 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) - enough material for two nuclear weapons - from the Czech Republic, the White House announced on Friday.

"The HEU was securely transported to Russia, where it will be downblended into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in nuclear power reactors," National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

Unlike highly enriched uranium, low enriched uranium cannot be used to make an atomic weapon.

"With this shipment, the Czech Republic becomes the 10th country from which all HEU has been removed since President (Barack) Obama announced the international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world," she said.

This achievement comes on the anniversary of the April 5, 2009 remarks of Obama in Prague where he stated that nuclear terrorism remains the greatest threat and called on the world to act with a sense of purpose and without delay to secure vulnerable nuclear material.

"The United States and the global community have responded with an unprecedented effort that has secured thousands of kilograms of HEU and plutonium, enough for dozens of nuclear weapons," Hayden said.

"The removal of highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic was the culmination of a multi-year effort by the United States` National Nuclear Security Administration, the Czech Republic`s Nuclear Research Institute, Russia`s Federal Atomic Energy Agency, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."


First Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 23:19
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