Lawsuit: Israel Should Pay for Weapons-Grade Uranium Smuggling Site Cleanup

Lawsuit: Israel Should Pay for Weapons-Grade Uranium Smuggling Site Cleanup

News release from the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep)

A federal lawsuit seeks disclosure of thousands of Central Intelligence Agency files revealing why the CIA is convinced that Israel stole enough U.S. government-owned weapons-grade uranium in the 1960’s to manufacture over a dozen atomic weapons.

The 147-page complaint (PDF) filed in DC’s U.S. District Court contains exhibits about how U.S. weapons-grade uranium was illegally diverted from the now-defunct Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) in Apollo, Pennsylvania into the clandestine Israeli nuclear weapons development program.  The CIA for decades has blocked researcher Freedom of Information Act access to its core files on the NUMEC diversion.

The lawsuit against CIA comes at the conclusion of IRmep’s courtroom victory this month against the U.S. Department of Defense to release a report (PDF) on the Israeli H-bomb development program, laser enrichment of weapons-grade material and 1987 status of its nuclear weapons production sites.

The CIA lawsuit exhibits reveal:

  1. An FBI eyewitness account of NUMEC executives stuffing irradiators with weapons-grade uranium canisters for rush shipment to Israel.
  2. A leaked file of CIA Directorate of Operations Chief Carl Duckett confirming the illegal diversion to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  3. The NUMEC facility visit during its highest-loss year of Israel’s top spies, including Jonathan Pollard’s handler Rafael Eitan and Avraham Bendor.
  4. LBJ and Carter administration attempts to cover-up CIA’s compelling evidence that an illegal diversion occurred.
  5. CIA Tel Aviv Station Chief John Hadden’s analysis that NUMEC “was an Israeli operation from the beginning.”
  6. Former Atomic Energy Commissioner Glenn T. Seaborg’s account of the Energy Department claims that traces of the specialized highly-enriched uranium provided to NUMEC were picked up in Israel.
  7. A GAO report on NUMEC with CIA equity the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel compelled be publicly released in 2014.

Currently, U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for a nearly half-billion dollar U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleanup of the environment surrounding the undercapitalized smuggling front’s former plant sites and waste dump.

According to IRmep Director Grant F. Smith, “It is our hope that this lawsuit is a productive step in finally holding those truly responsible for the NUMEC fiasco accountable.”

IRmep is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit researching U.S. Middle East policy formulation. Select CIA and DOD lawsuit filings may be viewed at IRmep’s Center for Policy and Law Enforcement web page at: http://irmep.org/CFL.htm.

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