Scoop Audio: Selwyn Manning and Simon Pound on 95bFM – Was Enriched Uranium Used Against Lebanon?
Scoop Audio (click here to listen): Selwyn Manning and 95bFM's Simon Pound discuss: scientific reports that question whether heightened enriched uranium particles have been found in and around a crater in south Lebanon. Has a new type of low yield nuclear weapon been tested during the Israel/Hizbullah conflict? And has Israel developed the scientific expertise to progress and deploy such weaponry without outside superpower help?
While the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said it has found no evidence that Israel used munitions with depleted uranium (DU) or enriched uranium (EU) from samples taken in Lebanon - it did not state whether it had taken samples from the crater in question.
The UNEP's Achim Steiner said samples taken from 32 sites south and north of the Litani river found “no evidence of penetrators or metal made of DU or other radioactive material.”
However, the UNEP confirmed it did find “white phosphorous-containing artillery and mortar ammunition (used) by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)”.
The issue was first raised by a special Rai News (Italy) report which was triggered by the radioactivity measurements reported on a crater probably created by an Israeli Bunker Buster bomb in the village of Khiam, in southern Lebanon.
The Rai report stated initial measurements were carried out by two Lebanese professors of physics - Mohammad Ali Kubaissi and Ibrahim Rachidi. The data - 700 nanosieverts per hour – showed remarkably higher radiocativity then the average in the area (Beirut = 35 nSv/hr ). Successivamente, on September 17th, Ali Kubaissi took British researcher Dai Williams, from the environmentalist organization Green Audit, to the same site, to take samples that were then submitted to Chris Busby, technical adisor of the Supervisory Committee on Depleted Uranium, which reports to the British Ministry of Defense. The samples were tested by Harwell’s nuclear laboratory, one of the most authoritative research centers in the world. On October 17th, Harwell disclosed the testing results - two samples in 10 did contain radioactivity.
It continued: On November 2nd, another British lab, The School of Oceanographic Sciences, confirmed Harwell’s results – the Khiam crater contains slightly enriched uranium. Rainews24 also took a sample taken by Dai Williams for testing by the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara. The testing - which is still ongoing - found an anomalous structure: the sample’s surface includes alluminium and iron silicates, normal elements in a soil fragment. Yet, looking inside, estremely small bubbles can be found with high concentration of iron. Further testing will clarify the origin of these structures: what seems to be certain at the moment is that they are not caused by a natural process.
Scoop sought the thinking of former Pentagon analyst and security adviser, Paul Buchanan, who is currently the director of the working group on alternative security perspectives at Auckland University.
Paul Buchanan said while it is difficult to know what to make of the reports: "It could well be that there is a new EU munition on the market. Another unexplored possibility is that the EU was in the target-site. Nothing (in the reports) is said about what was bombed…"
Background: In 2002, scientific reports were quoted by the BBC shortly after US Military bombed Tora Bora, Afghanistan. It was surmised that 'tactical nuke' weaponry was used to penetrate deep into the Al-Qaeda's labyrinth of caves and bunkers beneath Tora Bora where Osama bin Laden was then believed to have been hiding. Reliable references to samples and findings are now scarce.
Paul Buchanan said: "The question that comes to mind is whether soil samples taken from Tora Bora, matched EU samples found in Lebanon. If the traces found in both places matched, then one might conclude that the US has built a new generation of very low yield radioactive munitions that it shares with the IDF (Israel Defense Force)."
Scoop Comment: Considering the Israel government has been used over the past year to front-foot retaliatory anti-Iran rhetoric, and further considering a widely held believe that the IDF would be used as a first-strike force against Iran's bunker defence network sited along its Persian Gulf coast – then perhaps it is possible that a new low yield tactical nuke weapon, of specific explosive penetrating effect, had been developed and tested in the last days of the Israel/Hezbullah conflict.
*** Investigation ongoing…
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