United Nations to provide nuclear security at Rio Olympics

Brazilian Army soldiers take part in a simulation of decontamination of multiple victims against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear attacks ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Brazilian Army soldiers take part in a simulation of decontamination of multiple victims against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear attacks ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics. PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENNA (AFP) - The UN atomic agency said Monday it will provide Brazil with equipment to help prevent any attempted terrorist attacks with nuclear material at this year's Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it will loan Brazil selected types of radiation detection devices, including personal radiation detectors, for the Games in August and September.

The Vienna-based IAEA is also prepared to provide and/or facilitate assistance to Brazil "in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency," it said in a statement.

A corresponding agreement was signed Monday in Rio de Janeiro by Renato Machado Cotta, Brazil's nuclear chief, and Khammar Mrabit, director of the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Security.

The IAEA has been involved in previous major sporting events, including the Olympic Games in China in 2008 and the football World Cups in 2006, 2010 and in 2014, which was held in Brazil.

Experts and politicians have long warned of the risks of extremists getting hold of nuclear materials.

US President Barack Obama last week hosted a summit on the subject in Washington.