Police reassured Heathrow Airport passengers on Tuesday that there isn’t a risk on the airport after border patrol found small quantities of uranium in steel bars shipped to the UK from Pakistan in late December.
The cargo was reportedly despatched on a passenger aircraft and was reportedly meant to succeed in a UK-based Iranian enterprise.
While uranium is a harmful and dangerous chemical in massive portions, Scotland Yard mentioned on Tuesday that the quantity discovered within the cargo was “extremely small” and “posed no threat to the public,” in keeping with The Guardian.
The discovery prompted a terrorist investigation, which has not resulted in any arrests and continues to be underway. Border Force workers discovered the uranium in a bundle of scrap steel on December 29, which is believed to have originated from Pakistan.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the previous head of the British military’s chemical weapons unit, advised The Guardian it isn’t clear what the uranium was meant for, calling it “a million-dollar question.”
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He added that the general public doesn’t have to be involved, saying, “The system worked.” However, provided that the Uranium was present in kilo bars, authorities are questioning if the sender had intentionally tried to hide the radioactive ingredient.
De Bretton-Gordon advised BBC Radio 4 that he may perceive why the general public is fearful given “the substance could be used to create nuclear weapons,” the BBC reported.
Uranium can be utilized for nuclear gasoline in energy stations, and when extremely enriched, could possibly be used for nuclear weapons, however police say they don’t imagine the uranium is linked to an energetic terrorist plot.
Iran reportedly has two websites within the UK for enriching uranium to 60%, in keeping with the International Atomic Energy Agency, however the uranium would have to be 90% enriched to be created. Iran has denied it has any plans to develop a bomb, The Guardian reported.
“I want to reassure the public that the amount of contaminated material was extremely small and has been assessed by experts as posing no threat to the public,” Commander Richard Smith of the Metropolitan Police advised the BBC.
“Although our investigation remains ongoing, from our inquiries so far it does not appear to be linked to any direct threat. As the public would expect, however, we will continue to follow up on all available lines of inquiry to ensure this is definitely the case.”
He added, “However, it does highlight the excellent capability we and our partners have in place to monitor our ports and borders in order to keep the public safe from any potential threats to their safety and security that might be coming into the UK.”
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