Radioactive material looted

3 August 2003

IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei has said that a recent IAEA mission to Iraq's Tuwaitha complex estimated that at least 10kg of uranium compounds could have been dispersed during looting. ElBaradei stated: "The quantity and type of uranium compounds dispersed are not sensitive from a proliferation point of view." However, ElBaradei said he would ask the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq "to make every effort to recover this dispersed material and, if and when the material is recovered, to return it to the Location C Nuclear Material Storage Facility and to place it under IAEA safeguards." He also requested the CPA ensures the "physical protection and security of the entire nuclear material inventory in Iraq." The nuclear material inventory at the Nuclear Material Storage Facility consists of low enriched, natural and depleted uranium in various chemical forms, and was last verified in December 2002. The IAEA visited the site on 7-23 June 2003, following media reports of looting of radioactive material at the complex.

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