The origin of the uranium has not been identified

Publish date: February 19, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The case of weapons-grade uranium theft was finalised by police in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia. The seizure of the stolen uranium-235 took place in March last year. The origin of the uranium has not been identified.

This month, the police in Novosibirsk has finalised investigation into uranium-235 smuggling case, reported Novaya Sibir newspaper. A few members of the group of smugglers were traced down in March 1997 in the town of Rubtsovsk, southwards from Novosibirsk, not far from the border with Kazakhstan. The rest of the group was seized the same time in the town of Berdsk, in the same area, where they intended to hand over the uranium pallets.

This time the "buyers" were the agents of the police department of Novosibirsk county.

The trial has not begun yet, though the investigators believe the smugglers will be sentenced up to 8 years in prison.

The origin of the seized uranium-235 has not been identified in the course of the investigation.

In his testimony in front of the U.S. Congress in June 1995, William C. Potter, Director of the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute for International Studies, indicated that there had been 12 proliferation significant cases of diversion of probable FSU-origin highly enriched uranium and plutonium from 1992 till 1995. Mr. Potter, though, did not mention seizure of weapons-grade uranium in Novosibirsk county on December 15 1995, which presumably had derived from Kazakhstan, and the case described above.

According to Vladimir Orlov, Director of the Centre for Political Studies in Moscow, some 20 criminal cases have been launched in Russia related to the theft of radioactive materials. Orlov believes that the criminals caught so far could not find customers and were acting on amateur level. In the meantime, the possibilities to smuggle nuclear materials for organised professionals remain to be quite high, said Vladimir Orlov in his article in Nuclear Control magazine.

More News

All news

The role of CCS in Germany’s climate toolbox: Bellona Deutschland’s statement in the Association Hearing

After years of inaction, Germany is working on its Carbon Management Strategy to resolve how CCS can play a role in climate action in industry. At the end of February, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action published first key points and a proposal to amend the law Kohlenstoffdioxid Speicherungsgesetz (KSpG). Bellona Deutschland, who was actively involved in the previous stakeholder dialogue submitted a statement in the association hearing.

Project LNG 2.

Bellona’s new working paper analyzes Russia’s big LNG ambitions the Arctic

In the midst of a global discussion on whether natural gas should be used as a transitional fuel and whether emissions from its extraction, production, transport and use are significantly less than those from other fossil fuels, Russia has developed ambitious plans to increase its own production of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic – a region with 75% of proven gas reserves in Russia – to raise its share in the international gas trade.