The US is About to Send Weapons-Grade Uranium to a Belgian Reactor Targeted by ISIS
A U.S. company has put forward a bid to send 300 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HEU), enough material for six or more bombs, to a Belgian reactor that was the subject of intelligence for Islamic State terrorists.
Edlow International Company put forward an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to provide the nuclear fuel to Belgium’s BR-2 reactor in July. Belgian security officials found that an ISIS terrorist Mohamed Bakkali had been surveilling a senior official at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center, the facility which houses the BR-2, for hours before he was arrested for involvement in last year’s attacks on Paris. The security risk posed by providing weapons-grade uranium to the facility prompted the University of Texas at Austin’s Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) to start a petition calling for a halt to the uranium transfer.
“This clear and present danger underscores the urgency of minimizing the supply of HEU to the BR-2 reactor, and ending that supply as soon as possible,” said University of Texas Prof. Alan J. Kuperman , NPPP’s coordinator, in the petition.
Kuperman’s primary concern is the possibility of ISIS terrorists gaining access to the HEU once it is sent to Belgium, giving them an integral piece of bomb-making material.