Japan Turns Over Nuclear Material

    Workers place a container with spent highly-enriched uranium on a truck at a nuclear research facility in Kiev March 24, 2012. A consignment of enriched uranium - enough to make a nuclear weapon, U.S. experts said - rumbled out of a Ukrainian railway depot late on Saturday night bound for Russia, handing a success to an international summit on nuclear security.
 The 19 kilograms (42 pounds) of spent highly-enriched uranium, which were loaded in four containers onto rail carriers in a high-security night operation, represented the last such material to be removed from the ex-Soviet republic under a two-year programme with the United States and Russia. Picture taken March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: ENERGY POLITICS TRANSPORT) - RTR2ZUGA

    Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    At the Nuclear Security Summit Monday at The Hague, Japan and the U.S. jointly announced that Japan will give the U.S. control of a large cache of weapons-grade plutonium as well as highly enriched uranium. The stockpile would be large enough to build many nuclear weapons, officials said. The move is part of a push by President Obama to secure nuclear materials worldwide, and so far 132 countires have gotten rid of the caches of nuclear materials. According to the two countries, the move will “help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials. This material, once securely transported to the United States, will be sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.” Countries like Iran have cited Japan’s stockpiles as a double standard in the way nations are treated on the issue of nuclear capabilities.

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