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Japan to turn over nuclear material to U.S.

Staff writer |
The U.S. and Japan said that Japan would turn over hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material to U.S. custody, part of nuclear-security measures being announced at a summit in the Netherlands.

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The plutonium and highly enriched uranium are currently held by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency at a facility in Tokai, north of Tokyo. In a joint statement, the countries said the material would be sent to a secure facility in the U.S. and converted into less sensitive forms.

The U.S. lent Japan plutonium for research in the 1960s and has been asking for its return. That research plutonium is a fraction of the roughly nine tons of plutonium in Japan. The U.S. said Japan's atomic agency could continue its research without the need for highly enriched uranium which could be used to produce a nuclear weapon or separated plutonium.

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