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Leaks show poor African uranium security

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Paris (UPI) Dec 27, 2010
Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal abysmal safety and security standards in the African uranium mining industry, analysts say.

Cables reveal U.S. diplomats in a number of African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Niger, Burundi and others, reported the poor safety and security standards in those countries' uranium and nuclear facilities, Inter Press Service reported Sunday.

The cables also reveal the alleged involvement of European, Chinese, Indian and South Korean companies in the illegal extraction and smuggling of uranium from Africa.

Uranium imported from African countries is used by most European reactors.

At CREN-K, a nuclear research center in the DRC, "external and internal security is poor, leaving the facility vulnerable to theft," Roger A. Meece, U.S. ambassador to DRC, reported in a 2006 cable.

"Once inside the facility, no one controls the entrance to the nuclear reactor, although a key is required to enter the room," Meece wrote.

"The fuel rod storage room, where the nine unused fuel rods are stored, was not locked, and the fuel rods are not kept in a separate locked container," he reported.

The cable said that high levels of radioactivity have been measured in numerous regions of the DRC.

"All of Katanga Province could be said to be somewhat radioactive," Meece reported.



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S.Korea must improve offer to win nuke deal: Turkish envoy
Seoul (AFP) Dec 27, 2010
South Korea must make an improved offer if it wants to secure a project to build a Turkish nuclear power plant, the country's ambassador to Seoul said Monday. Erdogan Iscan said negotiations that began in March effectively halted after last month's G20 summit in Seoul, when the two sides failed to settle key differences. "The plan offered by South Korea did not meet Turkey's expectations ... read more







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