So they\’ve found some uranium in Libya:
The powder they contain appears to be yellowcake uranium from neighbouring Niger. …….There are at least 10,000 drums with a total capacity of two million litres,…….. The International Atomic Energy Agency says it knew that Col Muammar Gaddafi had stockpiled yellowcake uranium near Sabha – a relic of the years when he tried to develop nuclear weapons after obtaining blueprints from the Pakistani scientist, AQ Khan. “We can confirm that there is yellowcake stored in drums at a site near Sabha in central Libya,”……A WikiLeaks cable disclosed that two years ago he was trying to sell 1,000 metric tons of yellowcake on the world market.
Annual global market for yellowcake is around 50,000 tonnes. So while it\’s a decent amount it\’s not an earthshakingly large amount.
Note that the IAEA knew it was there. Also, yes, it\’s radioactive, not the sort of thing you\’d use on the flower beds. But it\’s not going to fry anyone who walks by it either.
It\’s also entirely legal for a government to have this stuff. A country has the right to nulear power (most certainly if they\’ve signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty) so it has the right to having uranium.
I do wonder though how long it will be before someone starts claiming that this proves that Ghadaffi was after a bomb. Still. For we knew that he was, in the past. This find is really evidence that he wasn\’t still after a bomb.
He tried to sell the yellowcake he had: uranium it was quite legal for him to have but not legal for him to try to process into the bomb that he no longer wanted to. When he didn\’t sell it he abandoned it in the desert rather than try and process it into bomb material.
I would take from that that he wasn\’t trying to build a bomb.
But I wonder who will use the same facts to claim that he was still after one? Would be a nice justification for \”intervention\” after all.
Finally, if there\’s 1,000 tonnes there it\’s worth around and about $150 million. Happy to advise the new government on where to sell it….for a fee, of course.
No, legally, of course: the new government will be able to issue the relevant documents to allow sale and transport. Most likely destination would be a US reactor or three, after processing.