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Sweden secretly shipped plutonium to US: Bildt

Sweden secretly shipped plutonium to US: Bildt

Published: 27 Mar 2012 08:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2012 11:40 GMT+02:00

Sweden recently carried out a secret operation in which three kilogrammes of plutonium was shipped to the United States for disposal, foreign minister Carl Bildt divulged on Tuesday.

The plutonium was sent over on the condition that it would be safely destroyed in a cooperative effort to increase worldwide nuclear safety.

"This highly sensitive material has now, under high security ... been transferred to the United States for disposal within the framework of the US Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI)," Bildt wrote in an article published in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

The GTRI is aimed at protecting sensitive material to prevent it being used for the production of nuclear devices or in acts of terrorism.

The plutonium, which Bildt wrote was shipped to the US “for final and safe disposal”, was allegedly shipped with utmost discretion from the shores of Sweden.

The US government has guaranteed that the plutonium will not be used by the military.

Bildt pointed to this cooperation as being a “concrete contribution” by Sweden in the efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear material.

The Swedish consignment was shipped by boat "under great discretion," Bildt said.

"Several countries have previously shipped enriched uranium, but the Swedish contribution breaks new ground because it is the first time that reprocessed plutonium has been transferred within the framework of the GTRI," he added.

He wrote that the plutonium has its background in Swedish research and development programmes from the 1950s and 1960s.

Most of it comes from the now-closed Ågesta nuclear reactor outside stockholm, while smaller amounts were acquired "at an early stage" from the United States and Britain for research into nuclear weapons.

According to the minister, Sweden’s actions can serve as support and inspiration to other countries, and will hopefully lead to an international cooperation in terms of ridding the world of nuclear material.

“Together, we must do all we can to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, to prevent the further spreading and so that they never, ever, shall be used,” Bildt wrote in DN.

On Tuesday, Bildt will discuss this international cooperation at a summit on nuclear safety in Seoul, South Korea.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:44 March 27, 2012 by johany
US is God and all european are lickers of US Balls
13:13 March 27, 2012 by rise
#1

US is the country of megalomaniacs (you, apparently such) living in their American dream. Whilst Americans are dreaming in their ignorance Europeans are awake and knowing. Awake and dealing with the reality during the time Americans keeps on to their bubble of delusion, utterly imbecile.
22:43 March 27, 2012 by swedejane
What in the universe are you two numbskulls jabbering about? We should welcome the contraction of nuclear material...removing as much as possible so that it doesn't pose as big of a risk for terrorist attacks.
09:44 March 28, 2012 by rise
@ swedejane

It was just an infantile reply at an infantile comment. ;)
19:13 March 30, 2012 by tadchem
The secrecy was needed so that nobody *else* could get trheir hands on the material in transit. Our current president is doing all he can to reduce military effectiveness. He believe more in the domestic use of military power through the "Department of Homeland Security". DHS just ordered 450 million(!) rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition, and DHS only works INSIDE the US. That's 10 rounds for every Republican.
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