RealNews

Barrels Looted at Nuclear Site Raise Fears for Iraqi Villagers

For Iptisam Nuri, a mother of five who was sick with typhoid, the arrival of the barrels in her home at first seemed a godsend. When the electricity went out during the war, the water-pumping station that serves this area 30 miles southeast of Baghdad shut down, and people were thirsty. Then men from a village near here broke through the fence guarding “Location C” at Saddam Hussein’s nuclear complex. “We had to find something to bring water,” said one of the men, Idris Saddoun, 23. They say they broke into the warehouse, emptied hundreds of barrels of their yellow and brown mud, took them to the wells and canals and filled them with water for cooking, bathing and drinking. For nearly three weeks, hundreds of villagers who live in the shadow of the high earthen berm and barbed wire fences that surrounded the labyrinth of the Iraqi nuclear program here bathed in and ingested water laced with radioactive contaminants from the barrels. The barrels, Iraqi and foreign experts say, had held uranium ores, low-enriched uranium “yellowcake,” nuclear sludge and other byproducts of Mr. Hussein’s nuclear research. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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