U.S., partners secure 149 pounds of bomb-grade uranium from Czech Republic

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 05, 2013 9:44 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have secured 68 kilograms (149.91 pounds) of highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic as part of an effort to keep nuclear materials from falling into the hands of extremists, the White House said on Friday.

The uranium, enough material for two nuclear weapons, was transported to Russia where it will be blended down into low-enriched uranium for nuclear power reactors, according to a statement from Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

The Czech Republic becomes the 10th country from which all highly enriched uranium has been removed in the last four years, Hayden said.

The United States and its allies have been trying to secure nuclear materials.

"Today we can announce that the United States, with the cooperation of our international partners, successfully removed 68 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) - enough material for two nuclear weapons - from the Czech Republic," she said.

The removal of the uranium from the Czech Republic culminated a lengthy effort by the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Vicki Allen)