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IAEA inspectors investigate nuclear lab in Egypt - diplomats
AFX | January 20, 2005

Posted on 01/20/2005 8:18:23 AM PST by HAL9000

VIENNA (AFX) - UN inspectors are investigating undeclared nuclear activity in Egypt which could be related to atomic weapons development, diplomats said.

The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) are checking a reprocessing lab which makes plutonium, the diplomats said.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: egypt; iaea; nuclearweapons; plutonium; proliferation

1 posted on 01/20/2005 8:18:24 AM PST by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000

Closeau is back!


2 posted on 01/20/2005 8:20:45 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: HAL9000
AFP -

UN inspectors investigating undeclared nuclear activity in Egypt that could be related to atomic weapons development are checking out a reprocessing lab for making plutonium, diplomats said.

The lab, apparently put together in the 1980s but never used, raises questions about an Egyptian nuclear program which is peaceful but may also be carefully structured to be able to move towards weapons development if Cairo decided to take this step, diplomats said in recent comments.

"It's not empty, the Egyptian story," a diplomat close to the UN's nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency told AFP, commenting on the ongoing investigation and hinting there are more undeclared activities than inspectors of the Vienna-based IAEA had originally thought.

But the diplomat, who asked not to be named, said Egypt's undeclared work was small scale and not even comparable to South Korea, a non-atomic-weapons state which has admitted to carrying out small-scale rogue nuclear experiments.

A second diplomat said the main question with Egypt is not what it is hiding but the range of its nuclear activities, in a country that is a regional power concerned about alleged nuclear weapons programs in Israel and Iran.

"Egypt is building a physical and manpower infrastructure which, added to past know-how and experience, enable it to master an important part of the nuclear fuel cycle technology.

"This infrastructure could be used to promote a military nuclear program," the diplomat said.

A third diplomat played this down, however, saying the Egyptian installations are "rundown, dirty, dilapidated."

The IAEA has been intensively investigating Egypt since the middle of 2004 after it was tipped off to possible undeclared nuclear experiments, with much information coming from open-source scientific publications by Egyptian scientists, one diplomat said.

The experiments the IAEA is looking into involve making uranium metal, which could be used to make weapons-grade plutonium, and carrying out the first steps of uranium enrichment by making uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), one diplomat said.


3 posted on 01/20/2005 8:23:12 AM PST by HAL9000 (Spreading terrorist beheading propaganda videos is an Act of Treason!)
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To: HAL9000

The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. The Pakistanis let him out.


4 posted on 01/20/2005 8:30:57 AM PST by Brilliant
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