Project Sapphire

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Project Sapphire was a successful 1994 covert operation of the United States government in cooperation with the Kazakhstan government to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation as part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. A warehouse at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant outside Ust-Kamenogorsk housed 1,322 pounds (600 kg) of weapons grade enriched uranium to fuel Alfa class submarines (90% U-235). Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the fuel was poorly documented and secured, and in danger of being sold for use in the construction of nuclear weapons.

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