Radioactive material found inside oil facility in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) — A German company found dangerous nuclear material stored in an oil facility in southern Lebanon, officials said on Friday.

The material has been stored at the Zahrani Oil Installation some 50 kilometres south of Beirut, according to a statement released after a meeting by Lebanon Higher Defence Council, the country’s top security and military body. In its statement, the council quoted outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

Lebanese authorities have been searching for hazardous material around the country after a deadly explosion in Beirut last year. The August 4 blast of nearly 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrates killed 211 people, wounded over 6,000 people and damaged several Beirut neighbourhoods.

During the meeting, Diab told other officials that the material found by German company Combi Lift, which Lebanon tasked with clearing hazardous material at Beirut port, “is a highly pure nuclear substance” and its presence poses dangers.