US worried South African HEU could be used by terrorists.
The entrance to the Pelindaba Nuclear facility in South Africa . PHOTO CREDIT: Etienne Creux
South African technicians extracted the HEU highly enriched uranium from the apartheid regime’s nuclear weapons in 1990, then melted the fuel down and cast it into ingots. Over the years, some of the cache has been used to make medical isotopes, but roughly 220kg remains, and South Africa is keeping a tight grip on it.
That gives this country – which has insisted that the US and other world powers destroy their nuclear arsenals – a theoretical ability to regain its former status as a nuclear-weapons state. But the US is worried that the nuclear explosives here could be stolen and used by militants to commit the worst terror attack in history. READ STORY HERE