A truck carrying nuclear fuel to one of Brazil’s power plants has come under attack by a group of armed men who engaged in a shootout with police officers guarding the convoy.
The uranium shipment came under attack on Tuesday in the town of Frade, about 30 km (19 miles) from Angra dos Reis, where the Angra 2 nuclear power plant is located. Following an intense fire exchange with the gunmen, the officers, none of whom were injured, managed to thwart the assault, police said.
Eletronuclear, the Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA subsidiary that manages the Angra 2 nuclear plant, emphasized that the incident did not cause any delays to the uranium delivery. The company also cast doubt that the attackers intended to hijack the cargo, claiming that local criminal turf battles could be to blame – and that the convoy was caught in the middle of the shootout.
The attack took place when vehicle traffic was stopped at a train crossing, but whether the raiders indeed had intended to steal the uranium shipment has yet to be determined. Civil Police are now trying to establish the motive behind the incident. The attackers have managed to flee the scene, but police have recovered a 9mm pistol which they are now trying to trace back to the armed group.