US Weapons-Grade Uranium Diverted to Israel: Secret NUMEC Investigation Files Now Online

May 8, 2012

(Other)US Weapons-Grade Uranium Diverted to Israel: Secret NUMEC Investigation Files Now Online.(PR).Declassified files from long-running investigations of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation over alleged illegal diversions of US government-owned weapons-grade uranium to Israel are now available online at
http://www.IRmep.org/ila/numec
The 733 pages of information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act for the new book Divert! NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the diversion of US weapons-grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program include:
A 1980 FBI interview of an eyewitness (PDF) of NUMEC executives stuffing U-235 canisters into sealed equipment shipped to Israel.
CIA Director of Operations Carl Duckett’s 1978 testimony about NUMEC (PDF) before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Atomic Energy Commissioner Glenn T. Seaborg’s reaction (PDF) to news that traces of Portsmouth U-235 of the type supplied to NUMEC had been picked up in Israel.
NUMEC corporate correspondence (PDF) with the AEC claiming that undercover Israeli intelligence agents Rafael Eitan and Ephraim Beigun visiting NUMEC in 1968 were merely energy scientists.
National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bresinski’s 1979 order (PDF) that Senator John Glenn not be given direct access to a top secret memorandum about “missing material from the NUMEC plant in Apollo, PA.”
Deputy Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti’s confidential letter (PDF) to President Jimmy Carter to “establish a plan for coordinated interagency action to detect and investigate the theft or diversion of nuclear material in the future.”
A 1978 congressional interview transcript (PDF) with NUMEC President Dr. Zalman Shapiro.
National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s 1969 strategy document (PDF) about how the US should respond to Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. “There is circumstantial evidence that some fissionable material available for Israel’s weapons development was illegally obtained from the United States by about 1965.”
FBI wiretap (PDF) of a 1969 toxic spill at NUMEC caused by improper storage.
According to a 2001 Department of Energy report, NUMEC lost 269 kilograms of highly enriched uranium between 1957 and 1968–the highest in the US and enough for dozens of atomic weapons.The newly published book Divert! (available in paperback and Kindle) presents additional evidence that NUMEC–unable to complete US government contracts or protect workers and the environment–was originally established as a nuclear smuggling front.Read the full story  here.

it’s what my family knew all along. Why… because they did it. It was Carnegie Mellon University staff and the Westinghouse Corporation. It all was from Pittsburgh… little old Pittsburgh


Arabs may rethink their nuclear plan, warns Egypt.

May 8, 2012

if we are going to take the views of people who want to throw the Jews into the sea seriously then all is lost. Iran threatening a second Holocaust is not the same as an Israel acting in self defense. Do we expect Muslims to understand this? The real bigots are those who do not recognize that Islam is all about killing Jews in the end. Any equivalences betray bias.

(other) Arabs may rethink their nuclear plan, warns Egypt.(E24/7).Hopes dimmed for staging major nuclear talks later this year between Muslim world and Israel, as Iran and Arab countries at a 189-nation conference accused Israel of being the greatest threat to peace in the region and Egypt warned that Arab states might rethink their opposition to atomic arms. Because Israel has not signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it was not present at Tuesday’s gathering of treaty members. But the United States defended its ally, warning that singling out Israel for criticism diminished the prospect of a planned meeting between it and its Muslim neighbors to explore the prospect of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. The Mideast conference planned for later this year was a key plank of a month-long 2010 high-level gathering of treaty signatories that convenes every five years to review the objectives of the 42-year-old treaty. Muslim nations have warned that failure to stage the Mideast meeting would call into question the overall achievements of the 2010 conference. Egypt, speaking for nonaligned NPT signatory nations – the camp of developing countries – said Israel’s nuclear capabilities constitute “a threat to international peace and security.” Later, in his separate capacity as Egypt’s delegate, senior Foreign Ministry official Ahmed Fathalla warned that Arab nations might “revise their policies” regarding their opposition to having nuclear weapons if the planned Mideast conference failed to materialize. Fathalla said he was citing a declaration from the March 29 Arab summit in Baghdad. But a senior US official, who demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to reporters, said it was the first time he had heard that threat. Reacting to a harsh series of attacks on Israel, US State Department envoy Thomas M. Countryman urged Muslim nations to ease their pressure at the Vienna meeting, convened to prepare for the next NPT summit in 2015, telling delegates: “Continued efforts to single out Israel … will make a conference less likely.” He also voiced “deep concern over Iran’s persistent failure to comply with its nonproliferation obligations, including … UN Security Council resolutions,” and urged Tehran to reduce concerns about is nuclear program by coming to May 23 talks with six world powers in Baghdad “with the same serious and constructive attitude that the six partners bring.”Hmmmm……Report: Saudi Arabia Says Will Buy Nuclear Weapon if Iran Tests A-Bomb.Read the full story here.


UN nuclear watchdog refers Syria to Security Council

June 9, 2011
…now? you do this now? perhaps this has something to do with the human rights abuses that public relations can not contain. note: this is the BBC. This is not FOX. This is a miracle that these networks would owe up to after condemning Israel for self defense like they did in 1981 against Iraq.

The UN nuclear watchdog has decided to report Syria to the UN Security Council over its alleged covert nuclear programme, diplomats have said.

The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted to rebuke the country over claims it had built an undeclared nuclear reactor.
The alleged structure, which Syria has maintained was a non-nuclear military site, was destroyed by Israel in 2007.
The IAEA move comes as Syrian troops crack down on weeks of protests.
Desert site
At the IAEA meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, 17 countries voted for and six against, including Russia and China.
Diplomats said that overall 11 countries of the 35-member board of governors abstained and one country was absent from the vote.
The last time the IAEA referred a country to the Security Council was in the case of Iran, in February 2006.
Thursday’s motion was proposed by the US and its Western allies who had asked the IAEA’s governing body to find Syria in “non-compliance” with its international obligations.
Syria is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which gives it the right to enrich its own fuel for civil nuclear power, under inspection from the IAEA.
But it has also signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA under which it is obliged to notify the UN’s nuclear watchdog of any plans to construct a new nuclear facility.
Israel bombed the desert site of the alleged reactor – near Deir Alzour in the country’s remote north-east – in September 2007. via bbc.co.uk


Roubini warns Turkey that they are about to have an economic crises

April 29, 2011
Renowned economist Prof. Dr. Nouriel Roubini said that the Turkish Central Bank should be supported by economic policies. Roubini said that the current account deficit and high domestic demand posed a risk to the Turkish economy. via hudson-ny.org

Turkey will be on it’s hands and knees begging for stimulus money when their economy collapses. The unemployment is high and the loans can not be paid. The alarm bells are ringing now. Our terrorist enabling business men in the West are about to get a wake up call.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L)
meets with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi,
in Urmia. AA photo.

“The most significant existing relationship between Iran and the Turkish financial system is through the Bank Mellat branches in Turkey,” David Cohen, acting undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday. via hudson-ny.org

“Our prime minister has set a target of $30 billion in annual trade with Iran. That is why we are opening this border crossing,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Saturday. “We are announcing to the world that Turkey and Iran will be friends for eternity.” via hurriyetdailynews.com

Me wonders how much those biz contacts with Iran are worth when Turkey needs a loan.Hardly a model of Democracy for the region to follow.  If you want Democracy the world needs to learn from the good business people who have a healthy economy in Israel



Gallup poll on opinions of the leadership of the United States released last week shows declines in each of six Muslim-majority countries

June 4, 2010

Obama has failed to woo the Muslim world. After an initial burst of enthusiasm in 2009, America’s favorability ratings sagged. A Gallup poll on opinions of the leadership of the United States released last week shows declines in each of six Muslim-majority countries surveyed. Approval in Lebanon is 25 percent, a 5-percent drop back to 2008 levels. Approval in Egypt fell by about half since last fall, from 37 percent to 19 percent. Approval in the Palestinian Territories is 16 percent, a drop of 4 percent and just three points better than it was under the Bush administration. In Iraq, approval is at 25 percent, compared to the 35 percent rating in 2008

This week, the United States broke 40 years of precedent to back a United Nations resolution calling for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel as a problem without even mentioning Iran. It is one of the worst diplomatic blows the United States has ever dealt to Israel, and it will be hard to explain away as simply more incompetent messaging.


Obama does not want to be responsible for the damage he did.

May 31, 2010

we can now conclude that Obama is a failure. He can’t even take responsibility for his actions. Will the voters realize this?  How can it be the Caesar Obama would castrate Israel and not America itself? US retreat can’t soften blow of Obama-backed NPT resolution.  PM will seek clarification and reassurances during White House visit. It may be too late.  via jpost.com

This was what the left wanted all along. Consider the following “forecast” of a perfect socialist future from H.G. Wells

And yet between 1940 and 2059, in little more than a century, this antiquated obdurate culture disappeared. It and its Zionist state, its kosher food, the Law and all the rest of its paraphernalia, were completely merged in the human community. The Jews were not suppressed; there was no extermination… but under the Tyranny there was never any specific persecution at all; yet they were educated out of their oddity and racial egotism in little more than three generations. Their attention was distracted from Moses and the Promise to Abraham and the delusion that God made his creation for them alone, and they were taught the truth about their race. The world is as full as ever it was of men and women of Semitic origin, but they belong no more to “Israel”.

This is why left wing anti-zionism is anti-semitism. It isn’t that they want to wipe out six million people of semitic ancestry. They just want Israel and Jews gone. They would rather do it bloodlessly, with no “extermination” or “specific persecution”, but if the Jews don’t cooperate, they still intend to fulfill their goals.


South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program

May 27, 2010
Some folks on Seesmic Video asked for a background on this.  This was shared with me by Charles W. Schowalter and is an overview from MIT
South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program
David Albright, President
Institute for Science and International Security March 14, 2001

South Africa is the only country to voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons. Many other states, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, and Brazil, abandoned their nuclear programs before they developed a weapon capability. However, South Africa’s abandonment of its twenty- to thirty-year-old nuclear weapons program remains unique.
South Africa’s first device was completed in 1979. A decade of weapons development followed, leading to plans to mate nuclear warheads with ballistic missiles. In 1990, President F. W. de Klerk terminated the program and in 1991 South Africa signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA then conducted an unprecedented verification of nuclear rollback. Although the IAEA was traditionally concerned only with the accuracy of a nation’s declaration, after the agency’s failure to detect Iraq’s nuclear program the IAEA shifted its focus also to verifying the completeness of a nation’s declaration of nuclear activities and facilities.
The official history of South Africa’s nuclear weapons program as stated by South African government officials sidesteps some issues and is misleading on others. ISIS has interviewed South African nuclear scientists and government officials and collected material from South Africa and the IAEA to develop a more complete history of this program. The case of South Africa provides the only example of verification of nuclear rollback and highlights the extreme difficulty of verifying nuclear disarmament.
South Africa’s nuclear program began during World War II with the discovery of major uranium deposits in the country. South Africa’s first large-scale nuclear research and development project was initiated in 1959 under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Board (AEB). Although members of the former apartheid government claim that this project was not weapons-related, the African National Congress (ANC) believes that the ultimate goal of this early project was a nuclear weapon. The heart of the program was an indigenous nuclear power reactor fueled with natural uranium. Research on uranium enrichment was also commenced. A nuclear research center, including a US-provided research reactor, was established at Pelindaba. In 1967, South Africa abandoned the indigenous power reactor program while moving uranium enrichment to the pilot plant stage.
In 1967, South Africa combined its experience gained with the power reactor and uranium enrichment programs to launch a program to build peaceful nuclear explosives (PNEs). In 1970, South Africa announced the construction of a uranium enrichment plant, called the Y-Plant, at Valindaba, next to Pelindaba. Realizing that the large facility could not be hidden from outsiders, South Africa publicly announced the existence of the plant but kept secret the uranium enrichment technology and its plans to produce weapons-grade uranium. South Africa had tremendous problems getting the plant to work properly and the net effect was that output was only half as much as expected. Despite these problems, by the end of the 1980s, the plant had produced roughly 500 kilograms of uranium enriched to at least 80%.
In 1970, a committee within the AEB recommended that the government develop several types of PNEs including those based on gun-type and implosion-type designs (Type A) as well as boosted fission (Type A*) and thermonuclear designs (Type B). In 1971, the Minister of Mines approved development of the Type A devices. In 1973, theoretical work on Type B devices was approved and two years later approval was granted for the construction of facilities to produce the material needed for thermonuclear devices.
The AEB scientists chose to focus on the gun-type design and had completed theoretical work on such a design by 1973. In 1976, the first full scale test of the device, using natural uranium instead of enriched uranium, was conducted successfully. The next year, South Africa completed its first full-scale device (minus the highly enriched uranium). The huge device, 4.5 meters long and 3400 kilograms in weight, was suitable only for a static test. South Africa began its search for a test site in 1973 and by 1977 had completed two shafts in the Kalahari Desert. Preparations for a cold test were detected in August 1977 by the United States and Soviet Union forcing South Africa to halt its test preparation activities. Following this episode, AEB scientists miniaturized the design of the device so that it was only 2 meters long, weighed 750 kilograms and would be ready for testing at short notice.
By 1977, AEB also established nuclear weapon research and development and production facilities at Pelindaba. Around this time, South Africa’s security environment had deteriorated with the introduction of Cuban forces into Angola and the imposition of a military embargo by the United Nations. In 1978, P.W. Botha became prime minister of South Africa and a nuclear strategy was developed. While the AEB felt that an underground test would be a sufficient deterrent, the military believed that a fully weaponized nuclear capability was needed to provide a credible deterrent. As a result, responsibility for the weaponization program was transferred to Armscor, South Africa’s primary weapon development agency. By 1982, Armscor had built its first device, a relatively simple bomb. Subsequently it made extensive modifications to the AEB weapon design to meet the military’s requirements for safety, security and reliability.
In 1985, the government capped the weapons program at seven gun-type devices and limited HEU production at the Y-Plant to that needed to meet this goal. Research on implosion, boosted fission and thermonuclear designs continued but work on plutonium-based weapons was halted. In addition, development of a ballistic missile to replace the aging Buccaneer bombers as a nuclear delivery system was continued. Armscor also received additional funds to build a new weapon production facility called Advena Central Laboratory.
South Africa’s nuclear strategy, originally developed in the late 1970s, had three phases. Phase one consisted of perpetuating strategic uncertainty regarding South Africa’s nuclear capabilities. If South Africa faced an overwhelming conventional military threat and the West was unwilling to intervene on its behalf, South Africa would implement phase two of the strategy. Under this phase, South Africa would covertly acknowledge the existence of its nuclear weapons to key Western powers in the hope of inducing their intervention. If this approach did not succeed, South Africa would move to phase three, the adoption of an overt deterrent posture, which included several options. South Africa would publicly acknowledge the existence of its nuclear stockpile, conduct an underground nuclear test, or detonate a nuclear explosion on the surface. South Africa calculated that the West’s determination to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons would force them to place South Africa under their nuclear umbrella in the event of a crisis. The implementation of South Africa’s nuclear strategy never progressed beyond phase one.
By 1989, South Africa had six devices in its arsenal, each containing 55 kilograms of HEU, and enough HEU for a seventh device. South Africa took several precautions to safeguard its weapon stockpile. All the devices were stored unassembled with the front and rear portions of the weapons stored in separate vaults. Four codes, including one held by the president, were required to assemble the two parts into a weapon. In addition, to prevent premature detonation of a device, the weapons would only arm once they reached a certain altitude on board their delivery aircraft. Armscor based its safeguards largely on American practices.
By late 1989, the departure of Cuban forces from Angola, the decline of the Soviet Union and the independence of Namibia, had significantly improved South Africa’s security situation. President F.W. de Klerk, elected in September 1989, sought an end to the apartheid regime and South Africa’s acceptance back into the international community. The nuclear weapons program was viewed an obstacle to these goals and orders were issued for the termination of the program. By the time South Africa joined the NPT in the summer of 1991 and IAEA inspections began later that year the program had been dismantled and its nuclear weapon manufacturing facilities had been decontaminated. Largely because of domestic and international pressure, de Klerk announced the existence of the former weapons program and began cooperating with IAEA efforts to verify the rollback of the program.
With access to South African records, the IAEA recalculated the Y-Plant’s production on a day-to-day basis and arrived at a final estimate within about 5-10 kilograms of South Africa’s declaration. The IAEA was able to verify the scope and timing of the South African nuclear weapons program and its subsequent dismantlement.
South Africa’s success in developing nuclear weapons can be attributed to five elements. First, South Africa mastered the highly enriched uranium production process. Second, the nation had a defense industry which could produce nuclear delivery systems. Third, the program had good scientists and technicians. Fourth, the program had a good foreign procurement network. Fifth, the weapons’ design was kept simple and low in cost. The international sanctions placed on South Africa in the 1970s slowed but did not stop its nuclear weapon program. In fact, the imposition of the sanctions in the 1970s may have hardened South Africa’s determination to build nuclear weapons.
Rapporteur: Gregory Koblentz


back to seminar schedule, spring 2001