Cablegate: Got More Conscious of the Need to Secure

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 293401

1. (SBU) In response to reftel demarche regarding the
disposition of radioactive sources from Iraq, on October 6
MFA Energy Department First Secretary Basak Tug gave
PolMilOff a verbal, unofficial translation of a report of the
events of September 28 as provided by the Turkish Atomic
Energy Council (TAEK). According to TAEK, portal monitor
equipment alerted Turkish Customs officials at Habur gate to
radiation in a "long vehicle" trying to enter Turkey from
Iraq on September 28. The vehicle was pulled over and
remained parked until TAEK officials arrived the same day to
investigate. The TAEK officials used "ion detectors" made by
Bikron to measure and determine that there was a radioactive
source among the scrap metal load. They then used "field
spectrometers," also made by Bikron, and determined without
opening the vehicle that Co-60, Ir-192, and Cs-137 were
present. They believed these materials to be used for
industrial purposes. The Habur officials then decided that,
without "any real authority" on the other side of the border
with which to work, that they should just send the truck back
into Iraq. Tug noted that the Habur officials did not notify
or consult anyone in Ankara at the U/S of Customs, U/S of
Foreign Trade, or MFA before releasing vehicle. She
indicated that border officials had been advised not to
repeat this oversight.

2. (SBU) PolMilOff noted that, while we appreciated the
explanation of events, in fact CPA IS the real authority on
the other side of the border and Embassy Ankara could be a
conduit to it. Tug agreed and reiterated that she hoped
border officials would contact the MFA if such an event were
to happen again, in which case MFA would certainly contact
the Embassy.

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