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    HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM RETURNED FROM LIBYA TO RUSSIA, SAYS IAEA REPRESENTATIVE

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    VIENNA, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - A batch of highly enriched uranium (HEU) was taken from Libya to Russia Monday, IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming said in Vienna.

    In her words, this step was made in the framework of measures to terminate the Libyan program to create WMDs.

    The IAEA spokesperson said the HEU was located on one of the research nuclear facilities outside Libyan capital Tripoli. Before sending, the cargo - 13 kg of fissionable uranium-235 and 3 kg of natural uranium - was checked by IAEA inspectors.

    "Russia agreed to the return from Libya of the HEU it supplied in 1980s for a 10 MW atomic reactor to operate in the research nuclear center Tajura near Tripoli. Russia said it will turn the HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) that can't be used to produce nuclear weapons," the IAEA statement reads.

    By the agency's data, funds worth $700,000 to conduct an operation to take uranium out of Libya were allocated by the US Energy Department in accordance with a cooperation program signed by Russia, the USA and the IAEA.

    RIA Novosti has not yet received a confirmation from Russian official sources about the removal of the uranium batch from Libya to Russia.

    Last Saturday, equipment having to do with the nuclear program as well as long range missiles and launchers were sent by sea from Libya to the USA. These are believed to be the last batch to be eliminated in the framework of Libya's disarmament.

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