Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear site’

News Update: Syria’s Suspected Nuclear Site

Posted by K.E. White on November 1, 2007

Summary: Fox News talks with David Albright on his satellite analysis of Syria’s suspect nuclear site. And Oxford Analytica speculates on motives for Israel to overreact towards Syria’s mysterious site. And the IAEA investigation won’t make clearing anything up soon. 

Fox News talks with Albright, who suggests Israel’s attack was a rush-job:

“The Israelis stumbled upon this, were surprised and acted quickly,” Albright said. “And so we don’t know what evidence they collected or (if) they just panicked and decided to act without knowing and worried about the worse case.” 

Analysis of those previous images, taken by DigitalGlobe, found that the structure could be a nuclear facility at least several years from completion similar to one in North Korea, according to an ISIS report released last week.

Oxford Analytica lists reasons for an Israel overreaction, and suggests this nuclear mystery won’t clear up anytime soon:

The publicly available information could have other reasons for wanting to suggest the site was nuclear:

–Israel is anxious to rebuild an appearance of strength after its perceived setback at the hands of Hizbollah in Lebanon last year.

–Israel may also have been interested in taking action that might cause Iranian leaders to reconsider their own nuclear ambitions.

–Attacking an alleged nuclear facility in Syria–a much easier target than Iran–might serve both purposes.

If the site was a nuclear reactor under construction, it has serious implications for security in the region and on the global stage.

And such uncertainty appears to be crippling the IAEA investigation into the site. From Reuters:

A U.N. watchdog inquiry into a suspected Syrian covert nuclear site bombed by Israel may end inconclusively without more information than satellite pictures that are already available, a diplomat said on Wednesday.

The IAEA has been studying before-and-after commercial aerial photos of the site and has asked Syria for explanations. But Syria has not replied and the pictures alone are unlikely to yield conclusions, the diplomat told Reuters.

“IAEA experts are looking back at the evolution of this facility. But with these pictures alone they feel they may be unable to draw conclusions,” the diplomat, familiar with IAEA affairs but not authorised to speak on the record, told Reuters.

Oxford Analytica points out that Syria is a fully compliment member of both the NPT and IAEA member of the NPT. And guess what? “[The suspected nuclear site] was still several years away from completion and was not required to be declared to the IAEA at its early stage of construction.”


Posted in IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, Israel, Nuclear, Syria | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

More Evidence of Syria’s Nuclear Project

Posted by K.E. White on October 25, 2007

So Syria was building a nuclear site, but perhaps that’s the least of our worries?

From the Associated Press:

Commercial satellite images show construction in Syria that resembles
the early stages of a small North Korean-model nuclear reactor, a
report said Wednesday, speculating that it was the site hit last
month by an Israeli airstrike.

The photos, taken nearly a month before the Sept. 6 strike, show a
tall box-like building near the Euphrates River that the report said
was similar in shape to a North Korean five-megawatt reactor building
in Yongbyon.
David Albright

 It cautioned that the Syrian building was “not far enough along in
its construction to make a definitive comparison.” The photo also
shows a smaller building that the report says appears to be a pump
station, which would be needed to provide water to cool a reactor.

The report was written by David Albright [and Paul Brannan], a former U.N. nuclear inspector and now head of the Washington-based Institute for Science
and International Security, and researcher Paul Brannan.

Albright and Brannan’s full report can be read here.

The report concludes:

The images raise as many questions as they answer. How far along was the reactor construction project when it was bombed? What was the extent of nuclear assistance from North Korea? Which reactor components did Syria obtain from North Korea or elsewhere, and where are they now? Is Syria able to produce any of the key reactor components itself? Could Syria have finished the reactor without on-going North Korean assistance? Did Syria plan to build a plutonium separation plant?

Posted in David Albright, Institute for Science and International Security, ISIS, Nuclear, nuclear site, Syria | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »