June 8, 2009

Uranium Discovered At A Second Location in Syria

Remnants of undeclared synthetic uranium have been identified at a second location by the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, at a reactor in Damascus, BBC News reported.  

The site in question was devastated in a 2007 raid by Israeli troops. Claims by the US have sparked an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) investigation as to whether the site was a nuclear reactor that was not yet functional.  

Apart from this incident, Iran is continuing to develop uranium in disobedience of the UN Security Council, the agency informed.

Accusations of unlawful activities have been rejected by both Iran and Syria.

Particles of synthetic uranium at the al-Kibar site in Syria, which was devastated by Israeli missiles in 2007, were uncovered last year by the IAEA.  

But a recent confidential report attained by the press indicates it has found new traces of uranium of a kind not outlined in Syria's declared nuclear material at a small reactor utilized for teaching in Damascus.  

Although, the IAEA is uncertain if the particles found at the two locations can be linked.

In a different account, the IAEA reports that Iran has approximately 7,000 machines used for developing uranium.  Tehran is operating nearly 5,000 of them, the agency said.  

It also indicated that in the last six months Tehran has increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) by 500kg to more than 1,300 kg.

A representative for the Institute of Science and International Security think-tank in Washington, David Albright, said that Iran now has accumulated enough LEU to alter into high-enriched uranium (HEU) to make one atomic bomb.  

He added that Iran would need to conquer some technical obstacles to accomplish this, which could require several years or more.  

The agency has not made much progress in its investigations in Iran and Syria, a senior official closely associated to the IAEA said.

The IAEA has encouraged both countries to be cooperative with its inspectors.


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