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    World risks nuclear destruction, warns ElBaradei

    VIENNA - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said yesterday the world could be headed for destruction if it does not stop the spread of atomic weapons technology, which has become widely accessible.

    In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Mohamed ElBaradei wrote that nuclear technology, once virtually unobtainable, is now obtainable through "a sophisticated worldwide network able to deliver systems for producing material usable in weapons."

    Above all ElBaradei echoed President Bush's call in a speech on Wednesday for states to tighten up the control of their companies' nuclear exports to proliferators.

    ElBaradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general, said the world must act quickly because inaction would a create a proliferation disaster.

    "The supply network will grow, making it easier to acquire nuclear weapon expertise and materials. Eventually, inevitably, terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology, if not actual weapons," he wrote.