VIENNA, June 8 (Reuters) - The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog is studying a request from Syria to help convert an atomic reactor near Damascus to use lower grade nuclear fuel which would be harder to use in bombs, the head of the agency said on Monday.
The reactor is currently running on highly-enriched uranium and Syria wants the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency to use low-enriched uranium and to ship the higher-grade material abroad, Yukiya Amano told reporters.
Uranium gas enriched to less than 5 percent of fissile purity is usually considered low-enriched, while an atomic bomb would usually be based on 90-percent enriched uranium. It was not immediately clear what grade the uranium used at the Syrian site has. (Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Gareth Jones)