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Europe's HEU Finds May Be Stolen From A Single, Aging Stockpile

Abstract:

According to Nucleonics Week, the HEU confiscated in Landshut, Germany in June 1994 and in Prague, Czech Republic in December 1994 may have originated from a single stockpile that had been produced over ten years ago. Germany's federal criminal investigative unit, Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), compiled a report that connected the suspects that had been arrested in both smuggling cases. The BKA discovered a connection between the Czech national arrested in the Czech case and the Polish national arrested in the Landshut case.

Spectrometric analysis by the IAEA has indicated that the isotopic spectrum in the material from both cases is almost the same, containing no U- 232, about 88% U-235, slightly over 1% U-234, and about 0.2% U-236. The mass percentage of U-238 in both batches is slightly different. The small amounts of U-236 found in the confiscated materials indicates that the uranium had been recovered from spent fuel reprocessing and then re-enriched. Analysis of the material has not indicated by what process the uranium had been enriched or whether the material had been diverted from military sources. [See also Mark Hibbs, Nuclear Fuel, 13 February 1995, pp. 8-10, 'Smuggled Czech HEU Cache Described As `Identical' To German Test Sample.']

Abstract Number:  19950260
Headline:  Europe's HEU Finds May Be Stolen From A Single, Aging Stockpile
Date:  16 February 1995
Bibliography:  Nucleonics Week, pp. 1-2
Case:  Prague, Landshut
Material:  HEU

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.

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