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Missing Bushehr Radioactive Device Raises Concerns | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bushehr main nuclear reactor (Reuters / Raheb Homavandi)

Riyadh – A missing radioactive device from the Bushehr nuclear reactor has raised concerns of possible misuse or incorrect handling.

The device went missing after the vehicle it was transporting it was stolen. The car was later found but without the device that could be used for industrial purposes.

Adnan al-Tamimi, Chairman of the GCC Emergency Management Center, voiced his concerns that the missing device could be misused. He stated the device loses half of its power after 74 days of inactivity; nonetheless it should be handled carefully.

Tamimi told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that, along with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there are concerns of negative impact of the Iranian nuclear program that could pollute the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

The chairman said most Gulf countries depend on the desalination of sea water and the matter is very critical especially if the contamination reaches desalination stations.

According to Tamimi, low safety and security levels at Bushehr raise many concerns along with Iran’s ambiguity about the matter. He elaborated that Gulf countries are anxious about the next stage especially that Iran is not transparent concerning its nuclear program.

Last week, the U.S. Congress approved a bill, with 419 votes in favor and one against, renewing sanctions on the Islamic republic for another decade. The congress voted on sanctions linked to Iran’s ballistic missile tests and human rights record that pre-date the controversy around Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Department of the Treasury might take further action to implement existing U.S. sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The bill if approved by the congress, will ask the Department of Treasury to provide an extensive report about the IRGC’s activity within 30 days.

The recent U.S. developments come amid increased bloody involvement of IRGC in Iraq, Syria and Yemen as well as supporting terrorism in Arab countries and arming and funding armed Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria.