ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, July 07, 2008

Yellowcake? Nothing to See Here

Some news that you may not be aware of if you're within the MSM/netroot bubble of idiocy.

AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from Iraq


The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad - using teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Ukraine.

"Everyone is very happy to have this safely out of Iraq," said a senior U.S. official who outlined the nearly three-month operation to The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called "dirty bomb" - a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material - it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment.

The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake to a Canadian uranium producer, Cameco Corp., in a transaction the official described as worth "tens of millions of dollars." A Cameco spokesman, Lyle Krahn, declined to discuss the price, but said the yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in energy-producing reactors.

"We are pleased ... that we have taken (the yellowcake) from a volatile region into a stable area to produce clean electricity," he said.

And, you just know that the UN sanctions (which were going to be dismantled shortly) and the top notch inspections by Hans Blix & co (which were going to stop at some point) would have kept Saddam from simply restarting his nuclear weapons program...

Or perhaps he was just going to use the uranium to produce cheap electricity?

Thanks to Chimpy W. McBushitler's strategery of removing tyrants with a history of and a reason to produce and use Weapons of Mass Destruction, we won't have to wonder what might have been.

Also, check out Jeff Goldstein @ Protein Wisdom

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler