14:26 GMT +322 October 2019
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    President Barack Obama (top center) hosts 46 visiting leaders at the start of the plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit April 13, 2010, in Washington, DC

    US Aware of Terrorist Intent to Use Raw Materials for Nuclear Devices

    © AFP 2019 / PAUL J. RICHARDS
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    Terrorists have the intent and the capability to turn 2000 metric tons of nuclear weapons usable materials into a nuclear device if they were to gain access to them., according to the White House statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States estimates that there are about 2000 metric tons of usable nuclear materials that terrorists have the intent and capability to access and produce nuclear devices, the White House announced in a statement ahead of the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.

    "[W]e know that roughly 2000 metric tons of nuclear weapons usable materials — highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium — are present in both civilian and military programs," the statement said on Tuesday. "[W]e know that terrorists have the intent and the capability to turn these raw materials into a nuclear device if they were to gain access to them."

    The fourth Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC from March 31 to April 1, and will be attended by leaders from more than 50 countries.

    The White House argued the threat and impact of a nuclear terrorist attack are global, and so must be the solutions.

    It added that such a potential attack would create "political, economic, social, psychological and environmental havoc around the world," regardless of where it would occur.

    Earlier in February, the Iraqi government said radioactive material it characterized as highly dangerous went missing from a bunker where it was stored in November 2015.

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    Nuclear Security Summit, White House, United States
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