Iraq still has enough weapons-grade uranium to make one nuclear bomb despite intensive allied bombing of its strategic sites during the Persian Gulf war, the New York Times said Wednesday.
Citing government officials and scientists, the newspaper said Iraq had sent a letter to the United Nations that indicated that enough uranium had survived the war to make one bomb.At least some of Iraq's stock of potentially weapons-grade fuel had been moved from its main nuclear installation at Tuwaitha to an undisclosed site for safety reasons, said the letter, delivered to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
But the Times said some material was buried under the rubble of bombed reactors. Iraq said there was no evidence of damage to the fuel.
According to the Times, the inventory submitted by Iraq disclosed that it received uranium in various forms from previously undisclosed sources.
"The imports include six tons of depleted uranium from sources, which remain undisclosed, and 1.8 tons of lightly enriched uranium, which (Bush) administration officials said was sent from Italy more than a decade ago and which was subject to agency safeguards," the Times said. "The inventory also shows that Iraq possesses more than the 48 pounds of highly enriched uranium."