Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Libya has lost tons of uranium that could pose “radioactive hazards”. The agency says it has no idea who made the uranium disappear.

Several tons of uranium missing in Libya, IAEA expresses concern
Several tons of uranium missing in Libya, IAEA expresses concern


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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations agency that monitors nuclear activities around the world, said on Wednesday that about two and a half tons of raw uranium is missing from a location in Libya.

A statement from the head of the IAEA, Raffaele Grossi, said that the disappearance was discovered during an inspection. He added that the inspection was originally supposed to take place last year, but due to the security situation in the area, it had to be postponed and was finally conducted on Tuesday.

The statement added that 10 drums of crude uranium, which Libya had said were being stored at the site, were not there. The International Energy Agency will take further steps to determine the conditions for removing uranium from the site, the statement said. However, the name of the site has not been revealed, nor has it been revealed where the missing uranium is now.

The IAEA’s statement added that “a lack of information on the current location of nuclear material could raise concerns about radiation spillage and nuclear security”. According to the statement, advanced means of transportation are needed to reach the nuclear storage site.

Unrest in Libya

In 2003, then-Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi’s government dismantled its nuclear weapons program, for which it had gathered information on centrifuges to enrich uranium as well as nuclear bomb designs. . However, Libya’s progress in this direction was very modest. Gaddafi also allowed weapons inspectors to inspect them.

A NATO-backed coup in Libya in 2011 led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s government and unrest in the country.

Since then, political control of the country has been divided between two rival factions, Eastern and Western factions. The capital, Tripoli, is under the control of the interim government, while the eastern region is under the control of a government backed by military chief Khalifa Haftar.

Under a peace plan supported by the United Nations, a transitional government was established at the beginning of 2021, which was supposed to hold elections in December of the same year, but those elections have not yet been held.

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