chapter  3
17 Pages

Nuclear Weapons Inspections

WithKathleen C. Bailey

This chapter outlines the Iraqi nuclear program, describes the inspections conducted by United Nations Special Commission in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and defines some of the lessons relevant to verification activities. In 1969, Iraq ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and in 1972 it signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA. This agreement provided for periodic IAEA inspections of all declared nuclear facilities and materials. At the time of the invasion of Kuwait, the one operational Iraqi nuclear installation declared was the Soviet-built IRT-5000 reactor, located next to the destroyed Osiraq facility at Tuwaitha. Baghdad secretly built other facilities in support of a large-scale and costly nuclear weapons development program. Iraq’s nuclear weapon design, as outlined in secret Iraqi reports confiscated by the IAEA, would have been an intermediate-level implosion device. Progress had been made in developing uranium metallurgy, high explosive lenses, detonators, and firing systems.