G
a biological agent production capability and can produce at least anthrax,
botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin. Iraq has also developed mobile
facilities to produce biological agents;
G
a variety of delivery means available;
G
military forces, which maintain the capability to use these weapons with
command, control and logistical arrangements in place.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) Assessments: 1999 2001
17. Since 1999 the JIC has monitored Iraq's attempts to reconstitute its nuclear
weapons programme. In mid 2001 the JIC assessed that Iraq had continued its
nuclear research after 1998. The JIC drew attention to intelligence that Iraq had
recalled its nuclear scientists to the programme in 1998. Since 1998 Iraq had
been trying to procure items that could be for use in the construction of
centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium.
Iraqi nuclear weapons expertise
18. Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Chapter 2 describe the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme
prior to the Gulf War. It is clear from IAEA inspections and Iraq's own
declarations that by 1991 considerable progress had been made in both
developing methods to produce fissile material and in weapons design. The
IAEA dismantled the physical infrastructure of the Iraqi nuclear weapons
Elements of a nuclear weapons programme: nuclear fission weapon
A typical nuclear fission weapon consists of:
G
fissile material for the core which gives out huge amounts of explosive
energy from nuclear reactions when made  super critical  through
extreme compression. Fissile material is usually either highly enriched
uranium (HEU) or weapons grade plutonium:
HEU can be made in gas centrifuges (see separate box on p25);
plutonium is made by reprocessing fuel from a nuclear reactor;
G
explosives which are needed to compress the nuclear core. These
explosives also require a complex arrangement of detonators, explosive
charges to produce an even and rapid compression of the core;
G
sophisticated electronics to fire the explosives;
G
a neutron initiator to provide initial burst of neutrons to start the nuclear
reactions.
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