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File: 970613_72171801_d_txt_0001.txt
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(b.2.)

Sep 90


 SUBJECT: IRAQI NUCLEAR CAPABILITY

(b.2.)



A. IRAQ DOES NOT CURRENTLY HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO CONSTRUCT A
NUCLEAR WEAPON. THE CURRENT ESTIMATE IS THEY COULD DEVELOP A
WARHEAD DURING THE LATE 1990S. THEY DO NOT HAVE A SOURCE OF
READILY AVAILABLE FISSILE MATERIAL. THE FISSILE MATERIAL WHICH IS
AVAILABLE IS REACTOR FUEL CONTAINING ABOUT 12.5 KG HEU: IT WAS
PROVIDED BY  (b.1. sec. 1.5.c.)

                IT IS NOT BELIEVED THE IRAQIS WOULD RISK USING ANY OF
THAT MATERIAL. THERE HAS BEEN NO UNUSUAL ACITIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH
THE LOCATION OF THAT NUCLEAR FUEL. (DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY THREAT
ASSESSMENT CONSIDERS ITS USE A NON-CREDIBLE SCENARIO). A METHOD OF
DELIVERY CURRENTLY EXISTS. HOWEVER, REQUIRED PAYLOAD CAPABILITY
WOULD DETERMINE THE ACTUAL DELIVERY SYSTEM.
B. A RADIATION DISPERSAL DEVICE (RDD) COULD BE CONSTRUCTED,
HOWEVER, THE PROBABILITY OF THIS HAPPENING IS ASSESSED AS
NEGLIGIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
(1) THE MILITARY UTILITY OF SUCH A DEVICE WOULD BE VERY LOW. OTHER
THAN DAMAGE CAUSED BY BLAST OR FRAGMENTS, EFFECTS OF AN RDD USING
LOW-GRADE PRODUCTS WOULD BE MINIMAL AND EASILY COUNTERED BY
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.
(2) THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF INTENT TO PRODUCE A DEVICE. RDD IS A
TERRORIST WEAPON AND IRAQS MOTIVES ARE NOT THE SAME AS A
TERRORIST.
(3) PUBLIC REACTION AND POSSIBLE RETALIATION.
C. b.1. sec. 1.5.b., c.)
DEPENDING ON FACTORS SUCH AS THE ISOTOPE AND SHIELDING, THE
DISTANCE COULD BE MUCH LESS.
D. (U) THE DISPERSAL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL ON FOREIGN SOIL
IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOST NATION. US ASSISTANCE COULD BE
PROVIDED IF REQUESTED BY THE HOST NATION, THROUGH THE COGNIZANT
FEDERAL AGENCY (DEPARTMENT OF STATE), TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF
DEFENSE (ISA). APPROPRIATE MILITARY RESPONSE TEAMS COULD BE
PROVIDED TO ASSIST IN THE RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY.
(b.2.)


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