Nuclear fuel rods were long, slender metal tubes containing pellets of fissionable material, which provided fuel for nuclear power plants.
Before Day 8
Farhad Hassan attempted to purchase fuel rods from the Red Square crime syndicate of Sergei Bazhaev to use in the Islamic Republic of Kamistan. However, his brother President Omar Hassan was against this, which forced Farhad to go around his back and plot to have him assassinated.
The rods were kept mobile by Bazhaev in a truck driven by his men Luka and Anton. When they parked the rods at a weigh station on the Wantagh Parkway, Bazhaev's son Josef ambushed the two mobsters, killed them, and brought the rods to Farhad. Samir Mehran killed Josef and then moved the rods to a new truck.
Following Farhad's theft of the rods from Red Square, they were commandeered by terrorists loyal to Samir Mehran and a business partner in the United States for use in a dirty bomb that would kill millions and leave Manhattan uninhabitable. The capture of the nuclear fuel rods, given their potential as a weapon of mass destruction, became the highest priority of CTU NY during Day 8. Samir offered to exchange the rods for Omar Hassan. While President Allison Taylor refused, a group of mercenaries were sent by David Brucker and the exchange took place, with the fuel rods safely falling into the hands of CTU. However, the trade resulted in the death of President Hassan and any hopes that the U.S. had of negotiating peace with the Middle East were lost.