Burma Working on Nuclear Weapons: Report
But it'll be years before they know how to make a bomb
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2010 8:30 AM CDT
This Dec. 21, 2009, photo released by the Democratic Voice of Burma, shows Myanmar defector Sai Thein Win at the control panel of an industrial machine at an undisclosed location in Myanmar.   (AP Photo/Democratic Voice of Burma)
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(Newser) – Burma has been secretly acquiring the materials it needs to build a nuclear weapon, though the country currently lacks the technological expertise to do so, according to a new report. Based on documents and photos smuggled out of the country by an army defector, the study concludes with “high confidence” that Burma is seeking technology that “is only for nuclear weapons and not for civilian use or nuclear power.”

Though it will be many years before Burma has the know-how to actually build a bomb, “the intent is clear, and that is a very disturbing matter,” one co-author, a retired UN nuclear inspector, told the Washington Post . The report was commissioned by the Democratic Voice of Burma dissident group. Hours before its release, Sen. Jim Webb canceled a trip to the country, saying he needed to know if the allegations had any merit first.