WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Libya delayed shipping spent nuclear fuel to Russia last year because Moammar Gadhafi was annoyed at the United States, leaked diplomatic cables show.
The holdup worried U.S. officials, with the embassy in Tripoli saying the casks holding the highly enriched uranium could crack and release their radioactive contents, The Washington Post reported Friday. The cables were among thousands of pages of leaked documents posted on the Internet whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.
"Security concerns alone dictate that we must employ all of our resources to find a timely solution to this problem, and to keep any mention of it out of the press," the embassy said.
The spent fuel was supposed to have been flown to Russia Nov. 25 but did not leave until Dec. 21. Gadhafi said Nov. 27 he was angry relations between Libya and the United States were not improving more quickly, Ambassador Gene Cretz said in a cable.
Gadhafi was said to be annoyed because he felt he had been treated without respect during a visit to New York. He was barred from visiting the World Trade Center site and was unable to follow his usual practice in foreign cities of staying in a tent brought from Libya for the purpose.