Friday, September 17, 2010

Former Los Alamos Scientist Indicted on Nuclear Charges

Via CNN -

A former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear scientist and his wife were indicted Friday on charges of trying to provide nuclear secrets to Venezuela, but U.S. officials stressed the Venezuelan government knew nothing about the plans.

The officials said they have no information from the undercover operation that Hugo Chavez's government has any plans to try to build a nuclear weapon.

Pedro Mascheroni, 75, and Roxby Mascheroni, 67, are U.S. citizens who worked as contractors at Los Alamos in New Mexico, officials said.

In 2008, Mascheroni had a series of conversations with an undercover FBI agent posing as an official of the Caracas government, according to the indictment.

"Mascheroni allegedly said he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years and that under his program Venezuela would use a secret underground nuclear reactor to produce and enrich plutonium and an open, above-ground reactor to produce nuclear energy," the Justice Department said.

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