News24

Uranium ore stolen in Romania

2011-11-01 20:01

Bucharest - Officials say 73kg of radioactive uranium ore have been stolen from a mining company in western Romania.

Police spokesperson Alina Dinu told the Associated Press the uranium, stored in eight metal pipes, was not enriched. She said the theft had been discovered on October 26.

Florin Dobra, an official at the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities told Antena 3: "the potential for radioactive contamination in the environment is extremely limited".

The uranium had been stored in a bunker at the plant in Stei, western Romania, he said, adding the theft could have occurred up to three months ago.

Uranium is the basic fuel for nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation, but the ore needs to go through several extremely complicated processes before being sufficiently enriched for use. Police are investigating.