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Seized nuclear material in Iraq 'low grade': UN atomic agency

Published on Jul 10, 2014 3:56 PM
 
A fighter of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) holds an ISIS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul on June 23, 2014. The UN atomic agency said on Thursday, July 10, 2014, that it believed nuclear material Iraq said had been seized by insurgents was "low grade" and did not pose a significant security risk. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENNA (REUTERS) - The UN atomic agency said on Thursday that it believed nuclear material Iraq said had been seized by insurgents was "low grade" and did not pose a significant security risk.

Iraq told the United Nations in a July 8 letter seen by Reuters that "terrorist groups" had seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country's north. It appealed for help to "stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad".

The International Atomic Energy Agency "is aware of the notification from Iraq and is in contact to seek further details," IAEA spokesman Gill Tudor said. "On the basis of the initial information we believe the material involved is low grade and would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk."

"Nevertheless, any loss of regulatory control over nuclear and other radioactive materials is a cause for concern," Tudor said.

 
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