DA wants nuke fuel guarantees

2011-06-08 22:31

Pretoria - The Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday it had written to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) asking it to ensure that South Africa's stock of weapons grade uranium was securely stored.

DA spokesperson Pieter van Dalen said in a statement he had also asked the IAEA to help South Africa have its uranium downgraded so that it could not be used in the production of nuclear weapons.

He had also asked the agency to get the South African government to disclose the outcome of an investigation into a 2007 security breach at Pelindaba, where the uranium was stored.

In November 2007 four armed men infiltrated the Pelindaba facility and according to the Washington Post newspaper the four men spent 45 minutes inside one of South Africa's most heavily guarded national key points.

Van Dalen said the arrest of seven men in Pretoria in 2010 at a service station trying to sell radio active nuclear material was of concern.

"After numerous unsuccessful attempts to engage the department of energy on these issues, I can only assume that the department does not take this issue seriously enough, or that there is a concerted effort to keep the facts out of the public domain.

"Either way, I am forced to appeal to the IAEA for assistance on this issue, in accordance with South Africa's participation in international non-proliferation agreements."

Comment could not be immediately obtained from the department of energy and the SA Nuclear Corporation.

Read more on:    da  |  iaea  |  politics  |  nuclear

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