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IAEA Confirms Syria Secretly Building Nuclear Reactor


Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano speaks to the media during a press conference at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France, April 28, 2011

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano speaks to the media during a press conference at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France, April 28, 2011

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency has said for the first time that a target bombed in Syria in 2007 was a secretly built nuclear reactor.

Yukiya Amano Thursday told a Paris press conference that the facility destroyed by Israel in an air strike was a "nuclear reactor under construction." As such, Amano said, it was not producing plutonium.

Amano said the reactor was "allegedly" destroyed in the air strike.

Syria has long denied the facility was related to nuclear activities. According to a March 7 statement by Amano to the IAEA, Syria has not cooperated with the watchdog agency since June 2008 to address issues related to the site.

The conference otherwise largely focused on nuclear safety and disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daichi nuclear reactor, heavily damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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