Libya Nuclear Program Detailed

(Washington Post) In buildings scattered in urban neighborhoods and suburbs of Tripoli, inspectors found crates that held hardware for machinery capable of purifying uranium for use in nuclear weapons. The Libyans displayed dozens of centrifuges, the devices required to develop weapons-grade uranium. By comparison, Iran possesses thousands of centrifuges. Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the findings highlighted the inadequacy of international inspections. IAEA teams have been visiting Libya for years and knew nothing about the equipment they saw Sunday. Even permission to allow surprise inspections would not guarantee discovery of a nuclear weapons program. "Low-level programs like this are difficult to detect. They can be run in a garage," ElBaradei said. "You would have to be lucky or have very good intelligence to run across it." Most of the work was done by Libyan scientists, some of whom had studied at the universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and at the University of Exeter in Britain, a Western diplomat said.

2003-12-30 00:00:00

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