Norway has stopped exports of heavy water, which can be used to make atomic bombs, after a series of international scandals that have embarrassed the government.
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said today that a new law, formally approved at a Cabinet meeting Friday, would allow only tiny amounts of heavy water to leave the country, and then only for research. The government had said it was planning the move last November.
Norway, a leading producer of the water in the 1950s and 1960s, has been trying to find out what happened to 15 tons of the water that it says was illegally rerouted from Switzerland to India in 1983. A long-running dispute with Israel over 20 tons of water sold to that country in 1959 also has not yet been resolved.