Yellowcake Uranium (WMDs) from Iraq Moved to Canada

The Investor's Buisness Daily recently published an editorial entitled "Saddam's Nukes":

It's a little known fact that, after invading Iraq in 2003, the U.S. found massive amounts of uranium yellowcake, the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel, at a facility in Tuwaitha outside of Baghdad. (Unless of course you listen to Talk Show America or read the Blog)

In recent weeks, the U.S. secretly has helped the Iraqi government ship it all to Canada, where it was bought by a Canadian company for further processing into nuclear fuel — thus keeping it from potential use by terrorists or unsavory regimes in the region.

This has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Yet, as the AP reported, this marks a "significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy."

This more or less proves Saddam in 2003 had a program on hold for building WMD and that he planned to boot it up again soon.

This is clear, since Saddam acquired most of his uranium before 1991, but still had it in 2003, when invading U.S. troops found the stuff. (The International Atomic Energy Agency seems to have known about the yellowcake in the 1990s, but did nothing to force Saddam to get rid of it. It's duplicating its error today with Iran and North Korea).

That means Saddam held onto it for more than a decade. Why? He hoped to wait out U.N. sanctions on Iraq and start his WMD program anew. This would seem to vindicate Bush's decision to invade.

The American Thinker Web site reported four years ago on the scary math behind Saddam's uranium hoard: 500 tons of yellowcake, once refined, could make 142 nuclear weapons.

But yellowcake wasn't all they found at Tuwaitha. According to the AP, the military also discovered "four devices for controlled radiation exposure . . . that could potentially be used in a weapon."

By the way, this should put to rest the canard peddled by the American left and by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson that "Bush lied" about Iraq seeking yellowcake from the African country of Niger.

Given what we know, including comments by officials in Niger's government, Iraq did make overtures to buy uranium. And it's quite possible all or part of the 550 tons came from there.

What's more, if Bush hadn't acted, we might today see a nuclear Iraq, an Iran on the way to having a weapon, Libya with an expanded nuclear program, and Syria - with its close ties to Saddam - on the way to having a nuke.

Tour of Tuwaitha, Iraq WMD Lab (Slide show of the prohibited nuclear material found at Tuwaitha Nuke lab complex. This was found in the fall of 2003)

3 comments:

acbryan said...

You are mistaken. I work in the nuclear sector. I received this post in a google alert.

Yellowcake uranium is very far from being weapons-grade material in any way, shape, or form. It is probably closer to copper shavings than plutonium, in terms of its ability to make a bomb.

The substance used to make nuclear bombs is Plutonium-239, which is bred from the radio-isotope uranium-235, or U-235. Yellowcake uranium is uranium oxide, or U3O8, which consists of natural oxygen and natural uranium, or uranium-233, or U-233.

In order to convert Uranium-233, or U-233, into U-235, it must undergo various costly and technologically-complex enrichment processes. It must first be separated from the oxygen. It must then be bombarded with neutrons. Even once you have U-235, it must still be enriched further to create Plutonium-239, which is the bomb-grade material.

There are only a few countries in the world that have the technology to enrich uranium. The facilities cost tens of billions of dollars to construct -- in many cases, over $100 billion -- and require a particular expertise. Not just any physicist with $100 billion can build one. They must have the plans.

So you see, yellowcake is very far from being a WMD.

I hope this allays your fears.

J.R. said...

WMDs also include pre-cursors to the weapons, Yellowcake Uranium is a Pre-cursor to a Thermo-Nuclear Weapon. Although I am not a nuclear expert, I realize it must be refined and it says so in the article as well. It doesn't really matter how much or how intricate the process is, it can be done with the right equipment and people.

Thanks for visiting Talk Show America.

Anonymous said...

What was Saddam doing with the "yellow cake" material in the first place? I don't think he was going to have a party with it. It was there for a reason. Regardless of how far it was from becoming lethal, what was the purpose of his having it? It was there for a reason and any sane person can be smart enough to figure out that obviously he was up to "something." The liberal media will not publish anything about this find in Iraq and that is for obvious reasons. I am beginning to think that "liberalism" is some psychological disorder. What ever happened to just "telling the truth and let the chips fall where they will?" This country is drowning with pandering politicians. Just tell the truth!

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