Weapons-grade uranium removed from Hungary

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) yesterday announced that the removal of some 49.2 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) – enough to fuel nine nuclear weapons, according to the DoE – from within Hungarian borders has been completed.

In a process overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) along with officials from the U.S., Hungary and Russia, the material was removed over the course of six weeks and airlifted to Russia.

Some 190 kilos of HEU had been removed from the country between 2008 and 2012, and Hungary is now the 12th nation to go HEU-free since Barack Obama announced in 2009 an international initiative to “secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world within four years.”

Despite the Obama Administration’s efforts, however, as of January 2013, some 31 nations still held HEU; the Czech Republic released its last such matter in late March.

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