IAEA to assess Russia’s warning on Syria nuclear site

IAEA to assess Russia’s warning on Syria nuclear site

PanARMENIAN.Net - The UN nuclear watchdog has received a request from Russia to assess the impact if a missile were to hit a small Syrian reactor and is considering the issue, the Vienna-based agency said on Friday, Sept 6, according to Reuters.

Russia said this week a military strike on Syria could have catastrophic effects if the research reactor near Damascus that contains radioactive uranium was struck, "by design or by chance".

“A military strike on Syria could lead to a nuclear catastrophe if a missile were to hit a reactor containing radioactive uranium,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich warned.

"If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic," he said, adding that the region could be at risk of “contamination by highly enriched uranium and it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control.”

Russia called on the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to urgently assess the risk as the United States considers military action to punish Syria's government for an alleged gas attack.

"I can confirm that the IAEA has received a formal request from the Russian Federation. The agency is considering the questions raised," IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said, giving no further detail.

Russia said nearby areas could be contaminated by highly enriched uranium and that it would be impossible to account for the nuclear material after such a strike, suggesting it could fall into the hands of people who might use it as a weapon.

Nuclear experts say the so-called Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR), a type of research reactor that is usually fuelled by highly enriched uranium, is small and that any radioactive fallout may pose a local hazard.

The amount that such a reactor usually holds, about 1 kg of highly enriched uranium, is less than the 25 kg that would be sufficient to build a bomb, they say.

One Western diplomat in the Austrian capital played down the issue. "It is very unlikely that something like this happens, and the quantity which is in this research reactor is very small," the envoy said. "I have the feeling that the agency does not perceive this as a very grave concern."

 Top stories
"It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated," Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said.
The team said they had also been barred from completing work at some sites to which they had been initially admitted.
"The terrorist organization Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well," said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
Until recently, India had largely seen itself as beyond the recruiting territory of international jihadists like al Qaeda.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.