Quietly, Canada Slips US Bomb-Grade Uranium

Nuclear material moving as part of recent agreement
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2011 8:33 AM CST
Quietly, Canada Slips US Bomb-Grade Uranium
A series of barrels holding approximately one thousand pounds of uranium used to ship processed uranium is pictured at Areva Resources 16 July 2007 in McClean Lake, Canada.   (Getty Images)

Canada is discreetly moving hundreds of pounds of weapons-grade uranium to the US, with one payload already across the border, a confidential memo obtained by the Canadian Press reveals. The shipments are the result of a pact President Obama and Canadian PM Stephen Harper signed last year to keep the material out of terrorist hands, but the shipments themselves are being conducted secretly—meaning the Nuclear Safety Commission won’t alert communities the uranium is passing through.

A ministerial memorandum classifying the trips as “secret” notes that the last time public hearings were held for a nuclear shipment, the public and media flocked to the story, drumming up a controversy that stalled the project. The public may expect such hearings again, the memo says, but it notes that there has never been an accident involving the transport of nuclear materials. One nuclear expert tells the CP that the uranium poses little danger, and keeping it secret may help guard against thieves. (More Canada stories.)

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