Sunday, December 4, 2005


Plutonium could be missing from lab

`There is no evidence that the weapons-grade plutonium has been stolen or diverted for illegal purposes, the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research said. However, the amount of unaccounted-for plutonium — more than 600 pounds, and possibly several times that — is so great that it raises “a vast security issue,” the group said in a report to be made public today. [..]

The report concludes that at least 661 pounds of plutonium generated at the lab over the last half-century is not accounted for. The atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 contained about 13 pounds of plutonium.

“The security implications . . . are extremely serious, since less than 2 percent of the lowest unaccounted-for plutonium is enough to make one nuclear bomb,” the report said.’

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