The Latest: Obama sees threat of nuclear terrorist attack


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the global nuclear security summit that President Barack Obama is hosting in Washington (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

President Barack Obama says there’s a persistent and evolving threat of terrorists conducting a nuclear attack.

Obama’s speaking at a nuclear security summit in Washington. He says the world has measurably reduced the risk but that reason for concern remains.

Obama says no terrorist group has succeeded in getting a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb. But he says al-Qaida has long sought nuclear materials and that the Islamic State group has used chemical weapons. He says extremists linked to the Paris and Brussels attacks videotaped a senior manager at a Belgian nuclear facility.

Obama says there’s no doubt if IS “mad men” got a nuclear bomb or material, they would use it to kill as many people as possible. He says that would be a disaster that would “change our world.”

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11:35 a.m.

The U.S. says Latin America and the Caribbean are now “free” of highly enriched uranium.

In a fact sheet highlighting progress at Friday’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, the White House praised Argentina for converting its remaining stockpile of the potential bomb-making material into a less dangerous form.

Argentina aborted a nuclear weapons program in the 1980s and has cooperated with the U.S. on uranium stockpiles.

For the final 4 kilograms, the Energy Department helped Argentina’s National Atomic Energy Commission dispose of the material in Argentina.

With the project completed, the White House says no country in Latin America or the Caribbean now has more than 1 kilogram of highly enriched uranium. It says that makes the region “free” of the material.

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11:15 a.m.

The U.S. and Japan are pledging to remove highly enriched uranium from a Japanese research reactor to reduce the risk of theft and nuclear terrorism.

The allies made the announcement Friday at a nuclear security summit in Washington. Their statement does not say when this process would be complete.

The two governments also confirmed they have completed removal of weapons-usable materials from another Japanese research reactor, as agreed in 2014.

Japanese media have already reported that 331 kilograms (730 pounds) of plutonium is now being shipped to the Savannah River Site, a government facility in South Carolina.

But the state’s governor, Nikki Haley, has opposed bringing more plutonium to the site, where tons of it is already stored.

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10:25 a.m.

President Barack Obama says the nuclear deal with Iran has achieved a “substantial success.”

Obama is meeting on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit with other members of the U.N. Security Council that negotiated the Iran deal along with the U.S. He says as a result of the deal, the world has seen “real progress.”

Obama says Iran already is beginning to see benefits from the deal. But he says it will take time for Iran to reintegrate into the world economy.

The leaders are using the meeting to review progress in implementing the Iran deal. Obama says it’s a reminder that when the global community stands together, it can promote common security. He says he hopes successful diplomacy like the Iran deal can be copied in the future.