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Enriched uranium secretly removed to prevent seizure by terrorists

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By The Washington Post
Friday, April 5, 2013, 9:33 p.m.

A team of U.S., Czech and Russian experts has removed nearly 150 pounds of highly enriched uranium from a research institute near Prague, Obama administration officials said Friday, in a move intended to prevent the material from being seized by would-be nuclear terrorists.

The uranium — enough to make about two nuclear weapons — was taken from the Nuclear Research Institute in Rez, a village in the suburbs of Prague, the Czech capital, in late March, according to U.S. officials familiar with the operation. Under heavy security and a steady snowfall, the uranium was lowered into thick metal boxes for shipment to a secure nuclear facility in Russia.

U.S. officials say the uranium was the last remaining cache of highly enriched nuclear fuel left in the former Soviet satellite from the Cold War era, when it was used for scientific research.

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