WikiLeaks: Gadaffi nearly caused nuclear disaster after UN tent snub
A large batch of highly enriched uranium came close to leaking after it was left on a runway in Libya following a fit of pique by the country's leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.
Col Gaddafi had pledged to get rid of his weapons grade uranium and the consignment was due to be picked up by a Russian plane and taken there for disposal.
But Libya refused to let the plane land on Nov 20 last year, apparently in retaliation for Col Gaddafi having been refused permission to pitch a tent outside the United Nations headquarters in New York several months before.
The uranium, in seven containers, was then left on the runway at Libya's Tajoura nuclear facility where it was watched by only one guard.
It began heating up and experts warned the containers could crack, leading to a radioactive leak and an environmental disaster.
In a frantic cable to Washington the US Ambassador Gene Cretz said: "We have one month to resolve the situation before the safety and security concerns become a crisis.
"We have to assume that the Libyan leader is the source of the problem." A personal message was sent from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Col Gaddafi and, on Dec 21, the Russian plane was allowed to land and pick up the uranium.
So not only is Muammar "the mad dog of the Middle East" Gadaffi the coolest looking country leader ever, with a badass nickname to go with the look, but if you don't let him camp on the UN headquarters front yard, then maybe you won't get that awesome nuclear waste you asked for either.