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Half a Ton of Uranium -- and a Long Flight

• Washington Post

"Andy, let's take a walk," the colonel said. As they strolled through a dim apartment courtyard, Korbator handed Weber a piece of paper. Weber unfolded it. On the paper was written:


90 percent

600 kilos

Weber did the calculation: 1,322 pounds of highly enriched uranium, enough to make about 24 nuclear bombs. He closed the note, put it in his pocket and thanked the colonel. After several months of patient cultivation of his contacts, Weber finally had the answer he had been seeking.

The piece of paper was a glimpse into what had become the most urgent proliferation crisis to follow the collapse of the Soviet Union: the discovery of tons of nuclear materials left behind by the Cold War arms race, much of it unguarded and unaccounted for.


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