Co-Founder, Co-Chair, and Strategic Advisor
Statement of Sam Nunn on the Successful Operation to Remove Nuclear Weapons Material from Vietnam
Former Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, today released following statement regarding the successful operation to remove highly enriched uranium from Vietnam to the Russian Federation.
"I congratulate the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for its successful operation to help reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. Working cooperatively, NNSA, Vietnam, the Russian Federation and the IAEA removed nearly 10 pounds of highly enriched material from a research reactor in Dalat, Vietnam to a secure facility in Russia where it will be blended down to a form of uranium that cannot be used in a nuclear bomb.
“Equally important is the news that the nuclear reactor at Dalat has been successfully converted so that it no longer requires weapons-usable material to operate. Converting research reactors around the world that use highly enriched uranium – the raw material for a nuclear weapon — to use low enriched fuel, which does not, is essential to reducing the risk that terrorists will get a nuclear bomb.
“We know that terrorists are seeking nuclear weapons material and that there is highly enriched uranium in 40 countries around the world. I applaud all those involved in making this operation a success. Wherever there is a vulnerable cache of nuclear material, U.S. homeland security is at risk, so we must dramatically accelerate our work to ensure that there are no weak links in nuclear security anywhere in the world.”
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