Missing Uranium Reported Found

Libyan National Army says it located the 2½ tons of ore near Chad border
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2023 6:33 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
Tons of Uranium Have Vanished in Libya: Report
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023.   (AP Photo/Heinz-Peter Bader)

A stash of missing uranium ore reportedly has been found in eastern Libya. Ten drums were located near the border with Chad, the media unit for the armed forces said, per the BBC. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was trying to corroborate the Libyan National Army report, which said the drums were found several miles from where they'd been stored, per the Washington Post. The agency, which is the UN's nuclear watchdog, had reported that the 2½ tons of ore had vanished from a site in Libya without specifying when. Inspectors said the 10 drums "were not present as previously declared at a location" outside of government-controlled territory during a visit on Tuesday, per CNN and the BBC.

The uranium represented about 10% of the material stored at the "very remote location" in southern Libya, says Scott Roecker of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He tells the BBC that the uranium, referred to as yellow cake, "cannot be made into a nuclear weapon" in its current form. There are also "very little radiation concerns," says Roecker. A site inspection scheduled for last year was postponed for security reasons as militias battled in the region, per the BBC and Reuters. This file has been updated with a report of the uranium being located. (More Libya stories.)

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