South African authorities are working closely with the IAEA as the country investigates cases of illicit trafficking of sensitive nuclear technology. At a media briefing at the Vienna International Centre, South Africa´s Abdul Samad Minty reviewed the investigation´s course and coming stages. Mr. Minty is Chairperson of the South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
"The allegations being investigated relate to the import and export of a controlled flow-forming lathe as well as the production and possession of certain components associated with a centrifuge enrichment plant without the necessary authorisation," Mr. Minty said. "It is alleged that these activities were intended to assist in the now abandoned nuclear weapons programme of the Libyan Government."
The investigation so far has led to the arrest and court appearances of some persons, he said. Searches of companies and facilities by South African police uncovered shipping containers associated with a centrifuge uranium enrichment plant, he said. IAEA safeguards inspectors have placed these containers, as well as other uncovered equipment and instrumentation, under Agency seal, he noted.
See Story Resources for the full text of Mr. Minty´s briefing.