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Windhoek - Namibian authorities have arrested four people they suspect of stealing drums of radioactive material from a mine in the country that is a major exporter of uranium, officials said on Monday.
"The next step is to confirm that the material is indeed uranium oxide, but physical observation points in that direction. This will also allow us to fingerprint the origin of the material," Tibinyane told Reuters.
The spokesperson in Namibia for the French nuclear firm Areva, Sugnét Smit, told Reuters: "The situation is very sensitive. Tests have been conducted to see if it concerns
Reports suggest that the uranium stems from Areva's operation near Trekkopje between Usakos and Swakopmund. The value of the uranium found near Mondesa in Swakopmund is estimated at around N$700 000, though the destination of the radioactive materials was unclear at the time of the arrest of three suspects on Friday.
In a related incident last year an officer of the NDF was arrested with several other operatives as they attempted to smuggle radioactive materials out of the country. These developments have frightening implications for the safety of local residents, but also raise serious questions about Namibia's commitment to upholding the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.