Archive for the Nuclear Weapon Category

CIA Photoshopped Fake Syrian Nuke Site Pics

Posted in Nuclear Weapon, USA with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

CIA Backed War Criminals Charged


Professor William Beeman at the University of Minnesota passed along a note today from “a colleague with a U.S. security clearance” about the mysterious Syrian site targeted in a Sept. 6 Israeli airstrike.

The note raises more questions about the evidence shown last week by U.S. intelligence officials to lawmakers in the House and Senate.

The author of the note pinpoints irregularities about the photographs. Beeman’s source alleges that the CIA “enhanced” some of the images. For example he cites this image:


CIA Photoshopped Fake Syrian Nuke Site Pics

The lower part of the building, the annex, and the windows pointing south appear much sharper than the rest of the photo, suggesting that they were digitally improved.

The author points to more questions about the photographs of the Syrian site.

1. Satellite photos of the alleged reactor building show no air defenses or anti-aircraft batteries such as the ones found around the Natanz nuclear site in central Iran.

2. The satellite images do not show any military checkpoints on roads near the building.

3. Where are the power lines? The photos show neither electricity lines or substations.

4. Here is a link to a photo of the North Korean facility that the Syrian site was based on. Look at all the buildings surrounding it. The Syrian site was just one building.


Source :

Chavez Minati Pengembangan Reaktor Nuklir

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , , , on September 29, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Senin, 29 September 2008 – 15:38 wib
Widi Agustian – Okezone
CARACAS – Presiden Venezuela Hugo Chavez mengungkapkan, akan mengembangkan reaktor nuklir untuk tujuan kedamaian.

Rencana tersebut dilontarkan, setelah beberapa hari sebelumnya Rusia menawarkan bantuan nuklir kepada pemimpin dari negara sosialis Amerika Latin tersebut. Dengan demikian, hal ini merupakan tantangan untuk Washington.

“Venezuela tertarik untuk mengembangkan energi nuklir, tentu saja untuk tujuan kedamaian, medis, serta untuk generator listrik,” ujar Chavez, seperti dikutip reuters, Senin (29/9/2008).

Lebih jauh dia mengungkapkan, Brazil dan Argentina telah memiliki reaktor listriknya masing-masing, untuk itu Venezuela pun harus memilikinya.

Chavez mengatakan, Venezuela adalah salah satu negara anggota kartel minyak OPEC yang pernah mengembangkan reaktor nuklir pada beberapa dasawarsa lalu, tetapi tidak dilanjutkan karena adanya tekanan dari AS.

Dia mengatakan, Perdana Menteri Russia Vladimir Putin akan membantu dalam pengadaan reaktor. “Kami sudah memiliki komisi kerja untuk menangani isu ini,” katanya.

Namun, Chaves tidak mengatakan kapan reaktor tersebut akan siap dilakukan. Walaupun demikian, kabar tersebut tetap dapat mengganggu hubungan negara tersebut dengan AS.

Dia mengaku, telah ditantang berulang kali oleh AS, khususnya karena turut mempertahankan nuklir Iran dari AS dan Eropa.

Chavez pun melontarkan pernyataan kontroversial, akan mengusir duta besar AS dari Venezuela pada bulan ini, dan mengulangi ancamannya untuk menghentikan penjualan minyaknya ke negara tersebut, yang merupakan 10 persen dari impor minyak AS.

Venezuela mendukung kerja sama dengan Rusia sejak mendapat tekanan dari AS, yakni sejak adanya konflik dengan Georgia. Dengan demikian, mereka berdua menjadi lebih kuat untuk menghadapi AS. (rhs)

Source :


Posted in Indonesia, Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , on September 9, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

By Brother Nathanael Kapner, Copyright 2008

THE ZIONIST SEEDS HAVE BEEN PLANTED by the Bush administration for the global dominance of a Zionist controlled America. This geopolitical Master Plan now appears to be counting on a McCain administration to nurture it.

The blueprint for this “Zionist Master Plan” was drafted in February 1992 when Defense Department staffers, Zionists’ Paul Wolfowitz & Lewis “Scooter” Libby, acting under Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, penned the Defense Planning Guidance.

This document, known as the “Wolfowitz Doctrine,” leaked by the NY Times, contained the following directives:

The U.S. should prevent the emergence of any rival superpower.

The US should undertake military actions through pre-emptive strikes.

The US should prepare to invade Iraq.

Indeed, this Zionist Master Plan, which calls for the establishment of a “new order” is hoped to be expanded by McCain whose Zionist handlers like Senator Lieberman, (constantly photographed with McCain), are in full control.


THE ORIGINAL MISSION of the “Wolfowitz Doctrine” was taken up in 1997 by the neocon “think tank” Project for the New American Century. PNAC’s members included Zionists’ Wolfowitz, Libby, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Elliott Abrams, and Zionist sympathizers’ Rumsfeld, Cheney, & Jeb Bush.

McCain’s connection to the PNAC began in 1994 when he was president of the New Citizenship Project founded by William Kristol in 1994. This organization parented the PNAC.

In 1998 McCain co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act—drafted by the PNAC—which decreed that a “regime change” in Iraq be US policy. The Act, signed by both McCain & Lieberman, led to the creation of the false intelligence of Saddam Hussein’s “Weapons Of Mass Destruction.”

McCain was also co-chair with Lieberman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
established by the PNAC in late 2002. The CLI’s mission was to rally public support for a US Iraqi invasion. Using the false information of Hussein’s “WMD” it succeeded in duping the American public.


WITHOUT A DOUBT the Jewish neocons will be back in a McCain White House. Already former members of the PNAC are surrounding McCain. Zionist neocon Randy Scheunemann, founder of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq mentioned above, is McCain’s foreign policy advisor.

As a preview of things to come, on June 12 2008, Scheunemann accused Obama of a “policy of delusion” toward terrorism – meaning that the “war on terrorism” will be expanded by McCain.

Scheunemann is joined by his fellow Jewish neocons of the now defunct PNAC as McCain’s advisors. They are William Kristol, (former President of the PNAC), & Robert Kagan, (former Director of the PNAC), in “advising” their puppet, John McCain.

source :

Russia to create electromagnetic super weapon

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , on September 8, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Russia to create electromagnetic super weapon Russia to create electromagnetic super weapon


Defense strategists place their stakes on high-tech weapons. Nearly all superpowers of the world conduct their works in the development of such weapons. It transpired recently that Russian scientists developed a generator, the capacity of which is comparable to that of a nuclear unit. It is a genuine scientific breakthrough, and it is already clear that the defense industry will not be the only field where the new super device is going to be used.

An individual, who is miles away from physics and is only familiar with home electricity, will not be able to imagine the power of several billions of watts. It will be even harder to imagine that such power can be generated by a device that is fit to be placed on a table.

“The devices generating such power – billions of watts – used to be very large in size before. This appliance has a very short impulse, which makes it possible to have it on a desk – it is a very compact device,” the Director of Lebedev’s Institute of Physics, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Gennady Mesyats said.

Mikhail Yalandin, one of the creators of the miraculous machine, said that the scientists had assembled two of such devices in Yekaterinburg – a bigger and a smaller one.

Never before had a relatively small device ever been able to generate electromagnetic impulses the capacity of which could be comparable to a huge water power plant. It is ten times as much as any foreign-made analogue.

The new device can be used practically anywhere. The invention will let specialists create radar telescopes and radars of new generation. Missile troops and defense departments on the whole will most likely be the first customers to order the appliance. The new generators can also be used to check the stability of large energy objects and systems. The device is capable of imitating the strays which appear as a result of a lightning strike or even a nuclear blast.

It is impossible to take photographs or film a video of the new generator in action because it immediately puts all electronic devices out of order.

The research that was used for the creation of such a device can be applied in the development of electromagnetic weapons.

“No one has ever studied biological effects of such impulses. It is obvious that it affects the electronic equipment near it. Computers or cell phones have to be screened from such radiation,” Mikhail Yalandin, a senior specialist of the Institute of Electrophysics said.

The device was called Nika, which means ‘victory’.

source :

Bubble Fusion Vindicated in Flagship Nuclear Journal

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Adapted by Joy Cernac and Sterling D. Allan
for Pure Energy Systems News

NOTE: Rusi Taleyarkhan, pictured above, was officially reprimanded, despite the NED peer-reviewed paper that vindicates Bubble Fusion. He will no longer have a named professorship at the university and will not fully supervise graduate students for three years. The announcement follows an unsuccessful appeal by Taleyarkhan against two counts of research misconduct: “He added a student’s name to papers to invoke a witness to the experiments, and stated falsely that his results had been independently confirmed.” (New Scientist; Aug. 28, 2008)

Bubble fusion, which in the last couple of years has come to be viewed with a jaundiced eye, has been cleared by a new peer-reviewed report that examines the faulty basis for the negative assessment.

A new scientific paper* on bubble fusion has been published by the multi-institutional team of Taleyarkhan, Lapinskas, Xu, Cho, Lahey and Nigmatulin under the international publishing house, Elsevier B.V., in the nuclear industry’s premier scientific journal, Nuclear Engineering and Design (NED).

The purpose of this new seminal paper is to undo misconceptions generated by University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) researcher’s webposting, which was assumed as technically accurate and reported by Nature magazine in March of 2006.

Over the past two years, a methodical and systematic study was undertaken with the intense efforts of researchers from Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, FNC Tech. of S. Korea together with input from Dr. West (retd. ORNL). This study was documented, using time-honored traditions, then offered for anonymous peer review, acceptance and publication in Nuclear Engineering and Design*.

The results of the new archival publication* confirm for the record that the confusion and controversies caused from past reports have resulted from neglect of important details within bubble fusion experiments. The new results demonstrate that neutron pulse pileup due to picosecond duration neutron pulse emission during bubble fusion events, ice-pack shielding between the detector and the fusion source, and gamma photon leakage all play important roles in affecting the spectra of neutrons from acoustic inertial confinement thermonuclear fusion experiments.

Bubble fusion :
Bubble fusion, also known as sonofusion, is the non-technical name for a nuclear fusion reaction hypothesized to occur during sonoluminescence, an extreme form of acoustic cavitation. Officially, this reaction is termed acoustic inertial confinement fusion (AICF) since the inertia of the collapsing bubble wall confines the energy, causing an extreme rise in temperature. The high temperatures sonoluminescence can produce raises the possibility that it might be a means to achieve thermonuclear fusion. At temperatures hot enough, atoms can literally fuse and release even more energy than when they split in nuclear fission, now used in nuclear power plants and weapons. Furthermore, fusion is clean in that it does not produce long-lived nuclear waste. (Wikipedia)

The new paper presents a comprehensive study that takes into account all six of the reported successful bubble fusion studies, including those associated with successful confirmations by groups unaffiliated with the original Taleyarkhan et al. research team. Two, unique, calibrated, validated and cross-checked methods were employed. Notably, in some of these successful bubble fusion experimental programs, ice-pack shielding was present between the reactor and detector. The goal was to address the confusion resulting from simulations conducted under incorrect experimental configurations and omission of key physics behind the bubble fusion phenomenon.

On March 8, 2006, Nature magazine unfortunately published an online article under the title, “Bubble bursts for table-top fusion; Data analysis calls bubble fusion into question”, by UCLA researchers, namely Brian Naranjo, under the supervision of Seth Putterman (doi:10.1038/news060306-3). This single, misinformed, unpublished, web-posted, non-peer reviewed article, which relied on sources with undisclosed conflicts of interest with competitors, set into motion a federally mandated two-year investigation. This article presented computer code simulation results for the anticipated neutron spectrum in bubble fusion experiments of Taleyarkhan et al. (PRL 96, Jan. 2006). This UCLA simulation was conducted for a guessed (without fact checking) experimental geometry, and it missed other attributes of bubble fusion phenomena in which neutrons of a fixed energy of 2.45 MeV from the bubble fusion nuclear reactor go whizzing past to a nearby detector with nothing in between. UCLA’s calculated neutron spectrum was shown to be very different from that published in the 2006 experimental report by Taleyarkhan et al., but resembled the overall features of a neutron energy spectrum from Californium-252. This is a commonly used laboratory radio-isotope, which spontaneously emits neutrons over a range of energies. The Nature March 8, 2006 article alleged actions that constitute fraud, bubble fusion data fabrication, and quoted UCLA’s B. Naranjo as stating: “The probability of getting such a poor match for neutrons produced by fusion is one in more than 100 Million –virtually impossible.” This webpost verdict from a UCLA graduate student was portrayed by the Nature reporter as true without accurately investigating the facts.

The resulting fallout was immense and extremely damaging to the Taleyarkhan et al. team, and severely damaged credibility of the bubble nuclear fusion field, bringing it to a virtual halt. An in-depth, federally mandated investigation of the incident has dismissed allegations related to scientific fraud and fabrication, and has supported validity of the discovery and it’s several successful replications. The two remaining Purdue University-based allegations (also apparently trumped up) are not aimed at the science and will take some time to resolve. In tandem, bubble fusion research and subsequent discoveries will continue to take place as these issues are resolved.

Taleyarkhan said “I can’t control the actions of the University in their unfortunate situation of having administrators and attorneys who place themselves ahead of the truth and importance of the science. This could happen to any other faculty member and is a sad precedent for the academic world. I can only move forward and remain positive”.

Upon careful examination by multiple researchers, it was found that UCLA’s computer modeling neglected to add a simple but crucial physical parameter: a ~1-inch piece of ice pack. Used as thermal shielding, this significant component should be placed between the bubble fusion reactor and the neutron detector, as specified for the experiments in the Taleyarkhan et al. 2006 PRL publication. Put simply, neutrons generated from fusion carry a momentum similar to bullets of a certain speed shot from a gun. If one measures fusion neutrons without shielding, the neutrons’ energy should be 2.45 MeV, analogous to the 1,000 fps velocity of bullets fired from a shotgun.

However, if one places a shield composed of steel balls between the gun and the target, some of the bullets will pass through the holes. Others will interact with the steel balls and slow down to various levels depending on the angle of attack, while still others may stick to the balls or create fragments. Consequently, the measured velocity of bullets leaving the shield will range from ~0 to 1,000 fps. The same applies to neutrons flying through a shield composed of water molecules. Neutrons are sub-atomic particles and much smaller than atoms of water. As in the bullet example, the neutrons emerging from the water molecule shield will also have a range of energies, along with other nuclear scale effects. This sort of “neutron” spectrum is deceptively similar to that from a radioisotope like Californium.

The UCLA researchers failed to include the ~1-inch piece of water ice-pack thermal shielding in their model. As a result, this omission and overlooking other aspects of bubble fusion physics has led to the publication of incorrect information in Nature that has been highly damaging to the fusion research industry.

To date, the world has not witnessed a comprehensive three-dimensional study of bubble fusion neutron transport processes.

# # #

Nuclear Engineering Design article reference

(*) Taleyarkhan, R.P., J. Lapinskas, Y. Xu, J. S. Cho, R. C. Block, R. T. Lahey,Jr., and R. I. Nigmatulin. Modeling, analysis and prediction of neutron emission spectra from acoustic cavitation bubble fusion experiments. Nucl.Eng.Des.(2008).doi:10.1016/i.nucengdes.2008.06.007.

In Nuclear Net’s Undoing, a Web of Shadowy Deals

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , on September 3, 2008 by indonesiaunderground
Published: August 24, 2008

(Photo : Mian Khursheed/Reuters – Centrifuge casings, removed from Libya, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2004. Some officials credited the Tinners with helping end Libya’s bomb program)

The president of Switzerland stepped to a podium in Bern last May and read a statement confirming rumors that had swirled through the capital for months. The government, he acknowledged, had indeed destroyed a huge trove of computer files and other material documenting the business dealings of a family of Swiss engineers suspected of helping smuggle nuclear technology to Libya and Iran.

The files were of particular interest not only to Swiss prosecutors but to international atomic inspectors working to unwind the activities of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani bomb pioneer-turned-nuclear black marketeer. The Swiss engineers, Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, were accused of having deep associations with Dr. Khan, acting as middlemen in his dealings with rogue nations seeking nuclear equipment and expertise.

The Swiss president, Pascal Couchepin, took no questions. But he asserted that the files — which included an array of plans for nuclear arms and technologies, among them a highly sophisticated Pakistani bomb design — had been destroyed so that they would never fall into terrorist hands.

Behind that official explanation, though, is a far more intriguing tale of spies, moles and the compromises that governments make in the name of national security.

The United States had urged that the files be destroyed, according to interviews with five current and former Bush administration officials. The purpose, the officials said, was less to thwart terrorists than to hide evidence of a clandestine relationship between the Tinners and the C.I.A.

Over four years, several of these officials said, operatives of the C.I.A. paid the Tinners as much as $10 million, some of it delivered in a suitcase stuffed with cash. In return, the Tinners delivered a flow of secret information that helped end Libya’s bomb program, reveal Iran’s atomic labors and, ultimately, undo Dr. Khan’s nuclear black market.

In addition, American and European officials said, the Tinners played an important role in a clandestine American operation to funnel sabotaged nuclear equipment to Libya and Iran, a major but little-known element of the efforts to slow their nuclear progress.

The relationship with the Tinners “was very significant,” said Gary S. Samore, who ran the National Security Council’s nonproliferation office when the operation began. “That’s where we got the first indications that Iran had acquired centrifuges,” which enrich uranium for nuclear fuel.

Yet even as American officials describe the relationship as a major intelligence coup, compromises were made. Officials say the C.I.A. feared that a trial would not just reveal the Tinners’ relationship with the United States — and perhaps raise questions about American dealings with atomic smugglers — but would also imperil efforts to recruit new spies at a time of grave concern over Iran’s nuclear program. Destruction of the files, C.I.A. officials suspected, would undermine the case and could set their informants free.

“We were very happy they were destroyed,” a senior intelligence official in Washington said of the files.

But in Europe, there is much consternation. Analysts studying Dr. Khan’s network worry that by destroying the files to prevent their spread, the Swiss government may have obscured the investigative trail. It is unclear who among Dr. Khan’s customers — a list that is known to include Iran, Libya and North Korea but that may extend further — got the illicit material, much of it contained in easily transmitted electronic designs.

The West’s most important questions about the Khan network have been consistently deflected by President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, who resigned last Monday. He refused to account for the bomb designs that got away or to let American investigators question Dr. Khan, perhaps the only man to know who else received the atomic blueprints. President Bush, eager for Pakistan’s aid against terrorism, never pressed Mr. Musharraf for answers.

“Maybe that labyrinth held clues to another client or another rogue state,” said a European official angered at the destruction.

The Swiss judge in charge of the Tinner case, Andreas Müller, is not terribly happy either. He said he had no warning of the planned destruction and is now trying to determine what, if anything, remains of the case against Friedrich Tinner and his sons, Urs and Marco.

Some details of the links between the Tinners and American intelligence have been revealed in news reports and in recent books, most notably “The Nuclear Jihadist,” a biography of Dr. Khan by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins. But recent interviews in the United States and Europe by The New York Times have provided a fuller portrait of the relationship — especially the involvement of all three Tinners, the large amounts of money they received and the C.I.A.’s extensive efforts on their behalf. Virtually all the officials interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss matters that remain classified.

The destroyed evidence, decades of records of the Tinners’ activities, included not only bomb and centrifuge plans but also documents linking the family to the C.I.A., officials said. One contract, a European intelligence official said, described a C.I.A. front company’s agreement to pay the smugglers $1 million for black-market secrets. The front company listed an address three blocks from the White House.

The C.I.A. declined to comment on the Tinner case, but a spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, called the disruption of Dr. Khan’s network “a genuine intelligence success.”

With the evidence files destroyed and a trial in question, it is unlikely that the full story of the Tinners will be told any time soon. If it is, it is unlikely to come from the elder Mr. Tinner.

Approached at his home in Haag, Switzerland, near the Liechtenstein border, Mr. Tinner, 71, was polite but firm in his silence. “I have an agreement not to talk,” he told a reporter.

Beginning a Double Life

An inventor and mechanical engineer, Friedrich Tinner got his start in Swiss companies that make vacuum technology, mazes of pipes, pumps and valves used in many industries. Mr. Tinner received United States patents for his innovative vacuum valves.

By definition, his devices were so-called dual-use products with peacetime or wartime applications. Governments often feel torn between promoting such goods as commercial boons and blocking them as security risks.

As recounted in books and articles and reports by nuclear experts, Mr. Tinner worked with Dr. Khan for three decades, beginning in the mid-1970s. His expertise in vacuum technology aided Dr. Khan’s development of atomic centrifuges, which produced fuel for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, now variously estimated at 50 to 100 warheads.

Yet while Mr. Tinner repeatedly drew the attention of European authorities, who questioned the export of potentially dangerous technology, he never faced charges. Mr. Tinner’s involvement with Dr. Khan deepened beginning in the late 1990s, when, joined by his sons, he helped supply centrifuges for Libya’s secret bomb program.

In 2000, American officials said, Urs Tinner was recruited by the C.I.A., and American officials were elated. Spy satellites can be fooled. Documents can lie. Electronic taps can mislead. But a well-placed mole can work quietly behind the scenes to get at the truth.

For instance, the United States had gathered circumstantial evidence that Iran wanted an atom bomb. Suddenly it had a direct view into clandestine Iranian procurement of centrifuges and other important nuclear items.

“It was a confirmation,” recalled Dr. Samore, the former national security official who is now director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “That was much more significant than Libya,” because that country’s atomic program was in its infancy whereas Iran’s was rushing toward maturity.

Despite considerable income from their illicit trade, the Tinners had money problems, a European intelligence official said. Eventually, Urs Tinner persuaded his father and younger brother to join him as moles, and they began double lives, supplying Dr. Khan with precision manufacturing gear and helping run a centrifuge plant in Malaysia even as their cooperation with the United States deepened.

At the time, Washington was stepping up efforts to penetrate Libya’s bomb program. In early 2003, the European official said, the Tinners and C.I.A. agents met at a hotel in Innsbruck, Austria, to discuss cooperative terms. Several months later, in Jenins, a Swiss mountain village, Marco Tinner signed a contract dated June 21, 2003, with two C.I.A. agents, the official said.

The contract outlined the sale of rights that the Tinners held for manufacturing vacuum gear, and of proprietary information about the devices. In exchange, $1 million would be paid to Traco Group International, a front company Marco Tinner had established in Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, on the island of Tortola.

In the contract, according to the European intelligence official, the two C.I.A. agents used cover names — W. James Kinsman and Sean D. Mahaffey — and identified their employer as Big Black River Technologies Inc. In military and intelligence work, “black” means clandestine. In the contract, Black River gave an address on I Street in Washington, the intelligence official said. But no business directory lists the company, and employees in the mailroom at the address said they had no records for a company of that name.

Four months after the signing of the contract, American and European authorities seized cargoes of centrifuge parts bound for Libya. “The Tinners were a source,” a former Bush administration official said.

Two other officials credited the Tinners with helping end the Libyan bomb program. In Libya, investigators found the rudiments of a centrifuge plant and a blueprint for a basic atom bomb, courtesy of Dr. Khan’s network. The Bush administration celebrated Libya’s abandonment as a breakthrough in arms control.

But the secret lives of the Tinners began to unravel. The Malaysian police issued a report naming them as central members of Dr. Khan’s network. An official of VP Bank Ltd., Traco’s business agent in the Virgin Islands, said it ended that relationship in early 2004, when Marco Tinner was exposed.

Under growing pressure, Dr. Khan confessed. His clients turned out to include not only Libya but Iran and North Korea, and his collaborators turned out to be legion.

“We will find you,” Mr. Bush said in February 2004 of Dr. Khan’s associates, “and we’re not going to rest until you are stopped.”

Acts of Sabotage

After the Tinners were arrested, Swiss and other European authorities began to scrutinize their confiscated files and to conduct wide inquiries. European investigators discovered not only that the Tinners had spied for Washington, but that the men and their insider information had helped the C.I.A. sabotage atomic gear bound for Libya and Iran. A former American official confirmed the disruptions, saying the technical architect of the operation was “a mad-scientist type” who took pleasure in devising dirty tricks.

An American intelligence official, while refusing to discuss specifics of the sabotage operation or the Tinners’ relationship with the C.I.A., said efforts to cripple equipment headed to rogue nuclear states “buy us some time and space.” With Iran presumably racing for the capability to build a bomb, he added, “that may be the best we can hope for.”

The sabotage first came to light, diplomats and officials said, when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency traveled to Iran and Libya in 2003 and 2004 and discovered identical vacuum pumps that had been damaged cleverly so that they looked perfectly fine but failed to operate properly. They traced the route of the defective parts from Pfeiffer Vacuum in Germany to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb. There, according to a European official who studied the case, nuclear experts had made sure the pumps “wouldn’t work.”

A more serious disruption involved a power supply shipped to Iran from Turkey, where Dr. Khan’s network did business with two makers of industrial control equipment.

The Iranians installed the power supply at their uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. But in early 2006, it failed, causing 50 centrifuges to explode — a serious, if temporary, setback to Iran’s efforts to master the manufacture of nuclear fuel, the hardest part of building a bomb. (Iran says its nuclear efforts are for electricity, not weapons.)

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, told a reporter last year that Iranian investigators found that the power supply had been manipulated.

After the episode, he added, “we checked all the imported instruments.”

Discussions With Washington

In 2005, Swiss authorities began asking the United States for help in the Tinner case. Among other things, they wanted information about the Libyan centrifuge program to press charges of criminal export violations. For more than a year, the Swiss made repeated requests. Washington ignored them.

“Its lack of assistance needlessly complicates this important investigation,” David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, told Congress in May 2006. Mr. Albright said he had helped Swiss prosecutors write to the State Department.

The Swiss turned to the I.A.E.A. for help in assessing the Tinner cache. European officials said the agency was surprised to find multiple warhead plans and judged that most had originated in Pakistan. The country denied that Dr. Khan had access to nuclear weapon designs and questioned the agency’s conclusions.

In late July 2007, according to Swiss federal statements, the justice minister, Christoph Blocher, flew to Washington for talks with Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence; Alberto R. Gonzales, then the attorney general; and Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director.

Officially, the statements said, the main topic was “cooperation in the criminal prosecution of terrorist activities.” But the real agenda was what to do about the Tinners.

A former Bush administration official said different government agencies had differing views of the case. The State Department wanted the bomb plans destroyed as a way to stem nuclear proliferation, while the C.I.A. wanted to protect its methods for combating illicit nuclear trade.

The C.I.A. also wanted to help the Tinners. “If a key source is prosecuted,” a former senior official involved in the case said, “what message does that send when you try to recruit other informants?”

American officials discussed a range of possible outcomes with the Swiss and expressed their clear preferences. The best result, they said, would be turning over the family’s materials to the United States. Acceptable would be destroying them. Worst, according to the former administration official, would have been making them public in a criminal trial, where defense lawyers would have probably exposed as much American involvement as possible in hopes of getting their clients off the hook.

A Furor Over Destroyed Files

Last March, Mr. Müller became the examining magistrate in the Tinner case, charged with assessing if a trial was warranted. Soon after, he was quoted as saying the evidence files contained “obvious holes.” Sketchy reports of deleted computer files and shredded documents had been circulating, but he was the first identified official to hint at a widespread destruction. Then, on May 23, the Swiss president, Mr. Couchepin, revealed that Switzerland had begun a series of extraordinary actions just days after Mr. Blocher, the justice minister, returned from Washington.

Swiss citizens are prohibited from aiding foreign spies. But in his statement, the president said that in late August 2007, the government canceled a criminal case against the Tinners for suspicions of aiding a foreign government. Though unmentioned, the C.I.A. seemed to peer out from his statement.

On Nov. 14, his statement continued, the government decided to destroy “the comprehensive holding of the electronic files and documents” seized from the Tinners. The most dangerous items, the president said, included “detailed construction plans for nuclear weapons, for gas ultracentrifuges for the enrichment of weapons-grade uranium, as well as for guided missile delivery systems.” International atomic inspectors, he added, supervised the destruction.

Mr. Couchepin said keeping the documents “was incompatible with Switzerland’s obligations” under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and added, “Under all circumstances, this information was not to reach the hands of a terrorist organization or an unauthorized state.”

The statement provoked a political furor. Some politicians and columnists accused Switzerland of surrendering to Washington’s agenda and violating Swiss neutrality. Among the strongest critics was Dick Marty, a prominent Swiss senator. “We could have respected the treaty by avoiding their publication and putting them under lock and key,” he was quoted as saying on Swissinfo, the Web site of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. Destroying them, he added, “ could lead to the collapse of the legal case.”

Many European officials dismissed the government’s arguments about terrorists and rogue states as empty.

“If they had kept the material in federal possession for years, why not keep holding it?” asked Victor Mauer, a senior official at the Center for Security Studies of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. “Their explanation is not convincing.”

An Action’s Repercussions

In an interview, a senior European diplomat familiar with the I.A.E.A. said the destruction could have repercussions far beyond the criminal case.

For one thing, he said, the international atomic agency had been allowed to examine only parts of the archive. He called it “a good sample” and judged that the agency had missed no significant clues. Even so, he said, the agency might “come to regret” its inability to examine the materials further for insights into hidden remnants of Dr. Khan’s network.

And while the Swiss president made much of the proliferation danger, the diplomat insisted that the warhead designs were in many respects sketchy and incomplete. “These are almost like studies — bits and pieces,” he said, adding that they “wouldn’t be enough to let you build a replica.”

So while they might have little or no value for a terrorist with no atomic experience, the plans might prove quite helpful for an ambitious state intent on building a nuclear arsenal. He said the agency had no evidence that Iran had acquired the bomb plans.

The diplomat added that the Swiss had “lots of possibilities” other than destruction. He said they had no legal obligation to destroy the files under the nonproliferation treaty, and could have put them under I.A.E.A. seal in Vienna or Switzerland.

Several European officials speculated that Washington might actually have kept secret copies of the archive. A senior American official said the United States had reviewed the material but declined to say if there were copies.

As for the Tinners, the father was released in 2006, pending legal action. In a brief interview at his home, Mr. Tinner pleaded ignorance about basic aspects of the criminal case, such as where the authorities kept the materials that had belonged to him and his sons. “The newspapers know more about these things than I do,” he insisted.

Should the case fall apart, the Tinners would join a growing list of freed associates of Dr. Khan. In June, Malaysia released the network’s chief operating officer, B. S. A. Tahir, saying he was no longer a national security threat. The authorities have kept the Tinner brothers in jail for fear that they might flee the country. In late May, a Swiss court rejected their bail application, and early this month, the ruling was upheld. But the judges also told the authorities that they could not hold the brothers indefinitely without charging them.

With much of the evidence gone, the magistrate, Mr. Müller, expressed frustration at finding “no answers to the really interesting questions in this case.” He declined to predict how it might turn out.

“At the moment,” he said, “it is impossible to make any schedule, since the case is in many aspects extraordinary.”

(source : The New York TImes)

North Korea Threatens to Restore Plutonium Plant

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by indonesiaunderground
Published: August 26, 2008
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Tuesday that it had stopped disabling its main nuclear complex and threatened to restore facilities there that the North had used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons unless the United States removed it from a terrorist list.
or months, United States experts and North Korean engineers have been disabling key facilities at the complex at Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, the capital, in a move that temporarily shut down the North’s only known source of plutonium.If North Korea rebuilds the facilities in defiance of the United States and a coalition of major powers that have sought to disarm North Korea, it would nullify a major foreign policy achievement of the Bush administration.

North Korea often issues strident warnings as a negotiating tactic but the latest declaration still dimmed the administration’s hopes of achieving a breakthrough in the North’s nuclear disarmament before President Bush leaves office in January.

The State Department described the announcement as a “step backward.”

“This certainly is in violation of their commitments to the six-party framework,” a State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, told reporters, according to Reuters.

North Korea accused Washington of not keeping its promise to take North Korea off a terrorism blacklist. The United States wants North Korea to agree to a comprehensive method of checking whether it withheld information in a report on its past nuclear activities before it removes North Korea from the list.

A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said North Korea had informed Washington that it had halted its work at the plant temporarily. “We’ve informed North Korea that we will take action to rescind its designation when it fulfills its commitment regarding verification,” he said.

The state-run news agency, KCNA, quoted a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying: “We have decided to immediately suspend disabling our nuclear facilities. This measure has been effective on Aug. 14, and related parties have been notified of it.”

Work started at Yongbyon late last year to disable a nuclear reactor, a factory that produces fuel for the reactor and a laboratory that can extract plutonium from spent fuel rods. North Korea demolished the reactor’s cooling tower in June.

It would take at least a year to restart the disabled facilities, experts said.

Disabling the complex does not meet Washington’s ultimate goal of dismantling it. The United States wants full access by inspectors to all locations it suspects of being nuclear sites to ensure that there are no hidden nuclear assets.

The North bristled at this demand. “The U.S. is gravely mistaken if it thinks it can make a house search in our country as it pleases, just as it did in Iraq,” the North Korean spokesman said.

He said North Korea was still technically at war with the United States because the 1950-53 Korean War had ended only in a cease-fire. He added that asking the North to give up its nuclear programs while it was not allowed similar inspections in South Korea, to make sure that there are no American nuclear weapons there, amounted to “a gangster’s demand.”

North Korea has sought for years to be removed from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Neil A. Lewis contributed reporting from Washington.

(source : the new york times)

Asian Tsunami: Natural Disaster? Or Nuclear Test?

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by indonesiaunderground


During his press conference at the Jakarta summit, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland took time to address a rumour — apparently rife in the Arab world — that the Boxing Day earthquake had been triggered by an Indian nuclear experiment. While conspiracy theories generally abound in the wake of any large scale disaster, this one appears to have sprung from the Arab press — or, at least, to have been given credibility by it.

Israeli news outlets, which keep close tabs on Arab language news outlets, have reported sightings of the story in Arab newspapers.

Both the Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva report that a prominent Egyptian weekly — identified variously as Al-Osboa and Al-Usbu — claims that India, in its heated nuclear race with Pakistan, has lately received sophisticated nuclear technology from the United States and Israel.

The paper claims, according to these reports, that India has been experimenting with this technology — and other nuclear devices — in the region of the Indian Ocean known as ‘the Fire Belt,’ which housed the epicenter of the earthquake.

It said that both Israel and India are conducting nuclear tests in the Indian Ocean, and the United States has recently decided to carry out similar tests in the Australian deserts, which, it said, is also part of the Fire Belt.

Abutz Sheva said the paper reported: “The three most recent tests appeared to be genuine American and Israeli preparations to act together with India to test a way to liquidate humanity.

“In the most recent test, they began destroying entire cities over extensive areas. Although the nuclear explosions were carried out in desert lands, tens of thousand of kilometers away from populated areas, they had a direct effect on these Asian areas,” according to the weekly.

The JPost said the paper reported a history of failed attempts at intervention by Islamic states.

JPost said the paper reported: “Last year only, Arab and Islamic states have asked the United States to stop its nuclear activities in that region, and to urge Israel and India to follow suite.”

JPost said:

Although Al-Osboa’ does not rule out the possibility that the tsunami could have been caused by a natural earthquake it speculates however that, “while it has not been proved yet, there has been a joint Israeli-Indian secret nuclear experiment [conducted on December 26] that caused the earthquake.”

Arutz Sheva notes that:

The article also claims that last year “Arab and Islamic countries intervened more than three times in the U.S. to stop this joint nuclear activity.”

The Times of India also reports this rumour but lumps it in with many others it discovered.

Among them:

# The earthquake was caused by testing of “eco-weapons which can trigger earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves;”
# The earthquake was a side effect of an experiment to try and correct the “wobbly rotation of the Earth;”
# Aliens did it.

Meanwhile, back in Jakarta, Mr Egeland said he would like to stop the rumour mill “here and now.”

“The seismic surveillance people around the globe know exactly what happened. This is a fault line,” he said.

The UN is concerned that such rumours — and the even more widely circulated contention by Islamic clerics that the catastrophe was divine retribution — are impeding fund raising efforts in the Arab world.

Arutz Sheva reports that one cleric on Saudi television gave a sermon in which he said: “The problem is that the (Christian) holidays are accompanied by forbidden things, by immorality, abomination, adulterers, alcohol, drunken dancing and…revelry. A belly dance costs 2,500 (English) pounds per minute and a singer costs 50,000 pounds per hour, and they hop from one hotel to another from night to dawn. Then he spends the entire night defying Allah.

“Haven’t they learned their lesson from what Allah wreaked upon the coast of Asia, during the celebration of these forbidden? At the height of immorality, Allah took vengeance on these criminal (and) Allah struck them with an earthquake. He finished off the Richter scale. All nine levels are gone.”


Barack Obama Yakin Israel akan Serang Iran

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by indonesiaunderground


Kamis, 31/07/2008 14:49 WIB
Barack Obama Yakin Israel akan Serang Iran
Rita Uli Hutapea – detikNews

Barack Obama (Daily Telegraph)
Washington – Capres AS dari Partai Demokrat Barack Obama yakin kalau Israel akan melancarkan serangan militer ke Iran. Serangan itu akan dilakukan jika sanksi-sanksi gagal untuk memaksa Iran menghentikan program nuklirnya.

Hal itu disampaikan Obama dalam pertemuan antara Senator Illinois itu dan para anggota Demokrat di House of Representatives, seperti dilansir ABC News, Kamis (31/7/2008).

“Tak ada yang mengatakan ini langsung pada saya, tapi saya dapat kesan dari pembicaraan-pembicaraan bahwa jika sanksi tidak berhasil, Israel akan menyerang Iran,” kata seseorang yang hadir dalam pertemuan itu menirukan ucapan Obama.

Juru bicara keamanan nasional Obama, Wendy Morigi menolak berkomentar mengenai berita itu. Namun dikatakannya, “Senator Obama selalu mengatakan bahwa Iran harus menghentikan program nuklir ilegalnya.”

“Dia telah menyarankan pendekatan langsung yang tegas, didukung dengan sanksi-sanksi yang lebih keras guna menekan Iran. Dan dia telah menyatakan dengan sangat jelas bahwa Teheran hendaknya tidak menunggu sampai pemerintahan baru untuk mencapai kesepakatan mengakhiri programnya,” tandas Morigi.

Saat berkunjung ke Paris, Prancis, beberapa hari lalu, Obama mengatakan kalau Iran sebaiknya tidak menunggu sampai presiden baru AS terpilih untuk menyelesaikan konflik nuklirnya dengan negara-negara Barat.(ita/iy)

The Depleted Uranium Threat

Posted in Nuclear Weapon with tags , on September 2, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Thomas D. Williams, t r u t h o u t | Report

“The DoD, the nation’s biggest polluter, is now cleaning up 29,500 currently or formerly contaminated sites in every state and territory. California alone has 3,912 contaminated sites on 441 current and former DoD installations. Many of DoD’s facilities have already contaminated groundwater sources of drinking water…. The cost to clean up toxic munitions contamination and unexploded ordnance at active and former military installations around the country may reach $200 billion.” – The National Resources Defense Council, April 21, 2004.

“The Defense Department is refusing to comply with orders or sign contracts to clean up 11 hazardous waste sites, including one in Hawaii, and has asked the White House and Justice Department to intervene on its behalf.” – The Associated Press, July 1, 2008

While attempting to act as the planet’s nuclear watchdogs, the United States and Great Britain have become two of the world’s largest, cancer-causing radiated dust and rusty depleted uranium projectile polluters.

Using tanks and planes, the US and British military have fired hundreds of tons of radioactive depleted uranium munitions (DU) while fighting the first Gulf War, the Balkans War, and the more recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For two decades, successive US and British government leadership has done little overall to clean up the hazardous war waste. And, when repeatedly asked questions about it, spokespersons for Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President George W. Bush, as well as the two presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) and Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), didn’t respond to a large number of e-mails and telephone calls over a month’s time.
Ironically, while firing this nuclear by-product all over Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, both Britain and the US regularly criticized and put financial or political pressure on Iran, Syria, North Korea and Pakistan for developing nuclear weapons. Of those four countries, only Pakistan is said to possess depleted uranium munitions, but their military forces have not been notorious for using them.

Depleted uranium is a by-product of the enrichment of natural uranium for nuclear reactor-grade or nuclear weapons-grade uranium. It is additionally used as an armor to protect tanks. Its metallic density is ideal for manufacturing munitions that readily pierce tank and other armor by burning and burrowing through it. But, while doing so, the munition creates large quantities of radioactive dust that the wind can carry for 20 to 30 miles. Sometimes the projectiles didn’t explode. Instead, they buried themselves and degraded. Now they pollute or threaten water supplies, soil, plants, birds and animals in war-torn regions.

Potentially Serious Health Impacts

Dangerous DU debris is credited by some with creating higher child cancer and other illness rates in Europe and the Middle East. DU’s fine particles can be harmful as well to the kidneys, skin and the lenses of the eyes. And, when inhaled or swallowed by humans, animals or fish, that dust can create serious and permanent health hazards. Expended DU is a permanent terrain contaminant with a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Uranium dust can linger in the lungs, the blood and other organs for years. It is reported to have caused some of the so-called mysterious ailments among the more than 350,000 US service members, many of whom unsuccessfully sought medical treatment after the first Gulf War.

At least four states – New York, California, Louisiana and Connecticut – passed bills in an unsuccessful attempt to force the Department of Defense to better test and care for war veterans for DU exposures. Their legislatures and governors were all concerned about sick service members exposed to DU wartime dust.

“Large numbers of corroding depleted uranium penetrators embedded in the ground might pose a long-term threat if the uranium leaches into water supplies,” a British Royal Society scientific study says. After shell firings, the ground becomes polluted with depleted uranium particulate waste and some parts of the munitions themselves. DU contamination should be removed from areas around known penetrator impact sites,” says the Royal Society. “Long-term environmental sampling, particularly of water and milk, is required and provides a cost-effective method of monitoring sensitive components of the environment, and of providing information about uranium levels to concerned local populations. Monitoring may need to be enhanced in some areas, by site-specific risk assessment, if the situation warrants further consideration.”

Although the Royal Society insists threats of health damage to those inhaling depleted uranium dust is remote and limited to those who took in large quantities, a study of Iraqi children, exposed to wartime DU dust, contradicts that assessment. Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, a member of the Brussels Tribunal Advisory Committee, says that children breathing or swallowing those radiated particles in areas of intense United States DU munitions firings “offer strong evidence of the correlation between low level radiation exposure and result(ing) health damages.” DU exposures created “a shift of leukemia incidence rates towards younger children during the recent years,” said the doctor. Another inquiry by three professors at the University of Massachusetts and Tufts University concludes: “In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.”

Four years ago, Iraq’s provisional government sought help from the United Nations in cleaning up wide swaths of its country, littered with expended munitions projectiles, DU destroyed equipment, broken random particles and wind showers of DU dust. The United Nations, without effective result, urged the British and U.S. military to clear many of the DU hazards they had created. In fact, United Nations environmental cleanup specialists asked U.S. and British officials for locations where the munitions were fired in Iraq, but they only reported receiving DU firing coordinates from Britain.

DU Cleanup Required But Ignored

Neither British nor U.S. authorities have offered to augment the $4.7 million donated mainly by Japan to the United Nations to evaluate sites of wartime contamination that health experts say threaten the well-being of millions of Iraqi civilians. But, contrary to scientific evidence, in late October 2004, Army Lt. Col. Mark Melanson said a five-year, $6 million Defense Department experiment with a simulated DU tank explosion shows “the chemical risks of breathing in uranium dust are so low that it won’t cause any long-term health risks,” even for the tank crew.

However, U.S. Army regulation 700-48 and its Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278 have for years required cleanups of the residue of depleted uranium firings and destruction. “Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment without approval from overall commander,” says the regulation. “If local disposal is approved, the responsible commander must document the general nature of the disposed material and the exact location of the disposal.” Radioactive equipment under that same regulation must be cleaned up and disposed of as soon as practicable. Other crucial military regulations call for DU tank drivers to be medically examined if they are exposed to dust or other radioactive debris. Similar British requirements prohibit unauthorized collection of radioactive waste.

One of the most salient examples of the problems with depleted uranium munitions and their dangers to the public recently opened a new chapter in the munition’s long, nagging history. In the face of the Pentagon’s and the Army’s repeated denials of the need to follow their own regulations, that very same leadership was involved this spring in one final large and expensive DU munitions cleanup of Camp Doha, a 500-acre base in Kuwait.

Despite the potential health dangers to anyone walking close to the area, most of the particulate hazards remained right there in the soil above and below ground at this active military camp for more than a decade and a half. In the years since 1991, the site’s larger waste hazards have been cleaned up in varying incomplete manners. This sloppiness caused health issues for all living nearby or stationed there. The military camp is on a peninsula relatively close to Kuwait City, holding the capital’s government offices. Its population was about 191,000 people when a depleted uranium munitions accident occurred. Right around the corner is Kuwait City International Airport.

Seventeen years ago, during the first Gulf War, Doha was the site of one of the largest fires and explosions of a depleted uranium munitions and tank storage area ever. On July 11, 1991, at about 10:20 a.m., says a Pentagon inquiry, a defective heater in an M992 ammunition carrier loaded with 155mm artillery shells caught fire and set off a sustained series of explosions and fires. The blaze and blasts sent chemicals and radiation dust from munitions and tanks into the air for miles, as the black hazardous smoke rose high into the sky. Tanks, other equipment, vehicles and a huge store of munitions were scorched. Fifty American and six British soldiers were injured. Two American soldiers’ injuries were serious. It took many months and hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild this significant military base. “The destruction was overwhelming,” said a Pentagon inquiry. “The fire and explosions damaged or destroyed 102 vehicles, including four M1A1 tanks and numerous other combat vehicles. More than two dozen buildings sustained damage as well. Among the estimated almost $15 million in damaged or destroyed ammunition were 660 M829 120mm DU sabot rounds.”

Initially, the Army worked for months on a major cleanup. Then in late 1991, the second and final phase of hazardous equipment removal was assigned to the Environmental Chemical Corporation. And the Pentagon’s investigation report said: “Personnel packing the drums with DU penetrators wore surgeon’s caps, safety glasses, half face protective masks, coveralls, butyl rubber aprons, rubber surgeon’s gloves with cotton inserts, and rubber ‘booties’ over their normal work boots. A total of eight drums were filled with about 250 DU penetrators.”

The Kuwaiti government hired its own U.S. private contractor, the Halliburton Corporation, to move most of the burned-out hulks in the vicinity of Kuwait City to a dump in the western desert. But, not until three years ago, when the U.S. planned to stop using the base, did the Army dispose of additional shell fragments. And, it was just in April of this year that the rest of this gigantic mess was finally neutralized on site. The cleanup, accomplished by MKM Engineers, headquartered in Stafford, Texas, was financed by the Kuwaiti government.

David Foster, an Army public affairs spokesman, said “under the circumstances, the Army had no legal obligation to clean up the (particulate) material” at Camp Doha. The Army originally brought the munitions and equipment to protect Kuwait, so it was now Kuwait’s responsibility to pay for the cleanup, transportation of the hazards and final, safe burial, he said.

A total of 6,700 tons of contaminated sand with particles of depleted uranium and lead from Kuwait was shipped in April to the Port of Longview in Washington. The barrels were then transferred to railway cars for final delivery to the American Ecology Corporation’s Idaho’s Grand View low-level radiation waste facility, 70 miles southeast of Boise in the Owyhee Desert.

“Based on the very low levels of contamination present,” American Ecology spokesman Chad Hyslop, “the soil is not regulated as ‘radioactive material’ by the US Department of Transportation.” Damaged depleted uranium penetrators were separated out by MKM and sent separately to the United States for disposal, said Army spokesman Foster. Both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, accepting the Army’s tests and descriptions of the hazards of the dust, allowed this form of disposal.

EPA and NRC Leave Cleanup and Burial to the Army

Those two agencies’ officials took the Army’s word that these shipments of depleted uranium dust did not pose a threat to humans or the environment while in transit or stored away in its final Idaho waste site. Mark MacIntyre, an EPA spokesman, said: “The Army is responsible for characterizing the material for the purposes of complying with transportation and disposal requirements…. The EPA does not have a specific standard related to depleted uranium. For the purposes of disposal, depleted uranium is considered a low level radioactive waste and is subject to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.” Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, explained: “The sand – with small amounts of depleted uranium being sent to the U.S. Ecology Idaho facility for disposal – contains ‘exempt’ concentrations of uranium, less than 0.5-percent weight. If the concentrations were greater than this, we would have oversight.”

Retired Army Maj. Doug Rokke, who has a Ph.D. in education – physics and technology – from the University of Illinois, fought the use of DU for years through the Internet and other means. He believes this current Doha DU waste-disposal operation violates safe guidelines. He worked with the special operations team, the 3rd U.S. Army captured equipment project team, and with the 3rd U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team during Gulf War One. As a result of his DU cleanup work, Rokke says he is ill with radiation damage to his lungs and kidneys. He also has radiation cataracts, fibromyalgia, rash, hearing loss, diarrhea, reactive airway disease, brain lesions, teeth breaking off and falling out, and neurological abnormalities.

It is ludicrous, said Rokke, for the NRC, the EPA and the Army to deny the Doha depleted uranium’s dangers. They are doing this, he said, even as the U.S. government is mandating a huge cleanup of the Concord, Massachusetts, depleted uranium munitions manufacturer Starmet’s Superfund site, and is indeed taking those pains to ship DU from Camp Doha, Kuwait, to the United States while endangering the environment and all persons who come anywhere near that shipment.

Health Destroyed by DU

Former First Lt. Todd Lightfoot is one of many Army veterans who believes he became sick from the aftermath of the fire while stationed at Camp Doha in 1991. He explains at his Internet web site that: “During my entire tour; one could say that, ‘I was in the loop’ (in the know about operations).” Lightfoot added that he has reviewed “my notes from all of the meetings we had … and we had meetings twice a day every day … and many times having a meeting or two in between. I can still not find one mention of potential health hazards from depleted uranium or the possible contamination of any area at Camp Doha.” and “I’ve been sick now since about 1995,” said Lightfoot. “I have what they call IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), but they’ve not been able to treat it with any success. (It creates constant) bad, bad cramping in the lower abdomen, severe fatigue, bad joint pain, all of the norms rolled up into the ‘Gulf War Illness’ tag!”

“As for what I believe is the cause of my declining health,” said Lightfoot, “there were three constants when I arrived a DOHA. There were the burning oil well fires. There was a constant presence of insects/pesticides. And then there was the DU. I’ve always believed that there is more to the DU than the US government and DoD would like us to believe.” Army spokesman Foster did not answer queries about Lightfoot.

International Calls to Ban and Clean Up DU

Back as far as 1999, a United Nations committee called for a DU munitions ban worldwide because its long-term adverse health impact on civilians violates international law. More recently, in January, the United Nations voted to approve an inquiry among member nations to determine the harmful impacts of depleted uranium munitions. Three years later, the World Health Organization recommended that “young children’s exposure to depleted uranium must be monitored and preventive measures taken, and heavily affected impact zones for depleted uranium munitions should be cordoned off and cleaned up.” United States officials failed to effectively warn the government of Afghanistan about that very danger. BBC News reported in April: “Doctors in Afghanistan say rates of some health problems affecting children have doubled in the last two years. Some scientists say the rise is linked to use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) by the U.S.-led coalition that invaded the country in 2001. A Canadian research group found very high levels of uranium in Afghans during tests just after the invasion. A U.S. forces spokesman denied its weapons were affecting the health of Afghans or the country’s environment.”

Some cleanups were conducted in the Balkans, but otherwise the recommendations found little cooperation. Finally, in late May, the European Parliament passed a global ban on such weapons with a landslide approval vote. The rationale: “Ever since its use by the allied forces in the first war against Iraq, there have been serious concerns about the radiological and chemical toxicity of the fine uranium particles produced when such weapons impact on hard targets. Concerns have also been expressed about the contamination of soil and groundwater by expended rounds that have missed their targets and their implications for civilian populations. Despite the fact that scientific research has so far been unable to find conclusive evidence of harm, there are numerous testimonies as to the harmful and often deadly effects on both military personnel and civilians. The last few years have seen great advances in terms of understanding the environmental and health hazards posed by depleted uranium, and whereas it is high time that this was reflected in international military standards, as they develop. The use of depleted uranium in warfare runs counter to the basic rules and principles enshrined in written and customary international, humanitarian and environmental law.”

Press spokespersons for both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have told this reporter in the past they rely upon the Pentagon for advice about the use of depleted uranium munitions, their health impacts and cleanups. Neither British Prime Minister Gordon Brown nor the British Environment Agency specifically answered this reporter’s repeated queries about their policies toward DU munitions and cleanups.

The British Ministry of Defense says on its Internet site: “There is no reliable scientific or medical evidence to link DU with the ill health of either Gulf or Balkans veterans or people living in these regions. Many independent reports have been produced and researchers continue to consider the battlefield effects of using DU munitions. These reports include work by the Royal Society, the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). None of these organizations has found a connection between DU exposure and illness, and none has found widespread DU contamination sufficient to impact the health of the general population or deployed personnel.”

Jasem Al-Budaiwi, first secretary of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington, sent this reporter’s inquiries to his government, but no reply came back. Repeated inquiries to presidential candidates Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) and Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) over a month’s time netted no answer to phone calls or e-mails.

It was not until October 2006, after decades of complaints about the hazards that President Bush signed into law a Congressional bill calling for a study of the health effects of depleted uranium munitions’ firings on American troops, but not on the millions of foreign civilians exposed. As a result, a legislative committee is expected to ask the Army to review the accuracy of acute exposures and the cancer risks posed by them.

This summer, a Canadian Member of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior, NDP) called on his government “to undertake every measure possible to ensure that depleted uranium weapons of mass destruction are banned forever.” Atamanenko continued: “Belgium has banned the use of uranium in all conventional weapon systems. However, at least 18 countries, including the U.S., use depleted uranium in their arsenals. They are considered weapons of mass destruction under international law. According to a Canada-U.S. agreement, Canadian uranium exports may only be used for peaceful purposes.” Nonetheless, he said, Canada provides raw uranium to the United States and other countries for processing and the resulting depleted uranium is then used in weapons.

DU Munitions Abandoned by Some

Now says Dai Williams, a British uranium expert, who posts on, most DU munitions are becoming pass, but in their wake, undepleted uranium shells made of natural uranium have been fired and are being manufactured by arms makers worldwide. “Why is this a problem?” asks Williams. “Because natural uranium in the general environment is mostly in large particles created from natural weathering processes. The body seems to be able to eject these. But weapons uranium dust is formed at very high temperature into ultra-fine particles described as aerosols that can pass through cell walls etc. In the lungs these will go into soft tissue and stay there, rather than being coughed out,” Williams explains. In the meantime, he says, tons of the old DU munitions are still in storage for potential firing by countries including the Great Britain and the United States. The British, he said, are now using the hard metal tungsten to manufacture munitions formerly made of uranium. Even the U.S. Navy and Marines have abandoned depleted uranium munitions in light of their potential health hazards.

A Government Accountability Office investigation two years ago found the military’s and the Department of Energy’s handling of depleted uranium and other nuclear waste a fiscal quagmire to clean up. In the United States, DU munitions manufacturing operations have created numerous hazardous-waste concerns. The military has had to deal with firing range cleanups of DU, while the Energy Department is responsible for oversight of nuclear installations. “The nation’s military installations and nuclear weapons production facilities,” said the GAO, “have accumulated many types of waste and contamination over the years. The federal government estimated its environmental liability to clean up this waste at $249 billion in fiscal year 2004, representing the federal government’s third-largest reported liability. It represents a significant future outflow of funds at the same time as many other competing demands for federal dollars, but is currently not auditable,” the GAO said.