Vienna [Austria],March 16: On March 15, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said 2.5 tons of natural uranium had "evaporated" from a facility in Libya.
Reuters on March 16 quoted IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi as updating information to member states that the group's inspectors had not found 10 containers of uranium concentrate , equivalent to 2.5 tons of natural uranium . However, at the previously declared location of Libya.
The report is the result of an inspection on March 14, which should have been carried out last year but has been postponed until now because of the security situation in the area.
The IAEA did not release the name of the site involved, but said it would continue to conduct operations to determine the circumstances that led to the removal of the uranium from the area, and their current location.
"Loss of information about the current location of nuclear material could present a radiation risk, as well as nuclear security concerns," the IAEA report said, adding that wanting to reach the site initially containing uranium required complex logistical support.
In 2003, Libya under leader Muammar Gaddafi announced that it was giving up its nuclear weapons development program in return for Western support. At that time, Libya had nuclear enrichment centrifuges as well as nuclear bomb materials, but had yet to make real progress.
Libya has been engulfed in conflict since the fall of Gaddafi's government following Western military intervention in the domestic situation. Since 2014, the Libyan civil war officially broke out with the division of the territory into two regions east and west.
Libya's interim government, which took office in early 2021 through a UN- backed peace plan , was supposed to stay in power until the country held general elections last December. However, elections have yet to be held and the existence of the interim government has become a matter of controversy.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper