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A recently declassified report by the General Accounting Office has confirmed that a Pennsylvania plant illegally shipped a minimum of 206 pounds of uranium to Israel.

A recently declassified report by the General Accounting Office has confirmed that a Pennsylvania plant illegally shipped a minimum of 206 pounds of uranium to Israel in

1965, enough fuel to create five nuclear weapons. Acting under direction from Lyndon Johnson's White House, the FBI initially declined to investigate the disappearance of the weapons-grade material from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (NUMEC) in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The report does not actually conclude that the White House connived at the theft, but government insiders have long believed that LBJ deliberately chose to ignore the lost uranium with the understanding that it had ended up in Israel as part of a weapons program. The uranium-235 would have jump-started Israeli weapons development because it can sustain the fission chain reaction of a nuclear explosion without further concentration. The Department of Energy initially sold the nuclear material to NUMEC for research purposes. NUMEC subsequently claimed that the uranium was "lost" during processing. Energy Department inspectors later determined that the total amount of missing uranium considerably exceeded 206 pounds, with a 590-pound loss reported prior to 1968 and 170 pounds in subsequent years--enough to produce between 20 and 30 bombs.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is a fellow with the American Conservative Defense Alliance.

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Title Annotation:DEP BACKGROUND
Author:Giraldi, Philip
Publication:The American Conservative
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 1, 2010
Words:210
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