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Iraq decommissioning project

Overview of the Sites and Facilities

There are 11 nuclear sites in Iraq which have been identified as part of the project to decommission the former nuclear complex.

The largest and most complex site is the Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Centre, located about 20 km from Baghdad. This site was established as Iraq's nuclear research centre for its legitimate nuclear activities from the 1960's onwards, with support from Russia, Italy and France. The role and purpose of some of the facilities was subverted to a covert nuclear programme during subsequent decades. The principal facilities on the site include two research reactors, two isotope production facilities, a radiochemistry laboratory, hot cell facilities, a fuel fabrication facility and several associated waste management and storage facilities. A total of 19 separate and distinct nuclear facilities and radwaste locations have been identified for inclusion within the decommissioning programme.

Of the other 10 nuclear sites included within the decommissioning project, two are adjacent to the Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Centre and are linked to its activities. These sites are at Wardiya/Location C (a radioactive materials storage area) and Djerf al Naddah/Location B (a site used temporarily for spent fuel storage and transfer). The remaining seven sites were essentially part of a covert programme to procure, purify and enrich uranium, including Al-Qaim (fertilizer plant and uranium extraction), Al-Jesira (Uranium ore purification), Adaya (equipment burial site), Rashidiya (centrifuge development facility), Al-Atheer (uranium metal handling), Al-Furat (centrifuge site), the Geo-pilot Plant (uranium extraction) and Tarmiya (enrichment facility).

The Al-Tuwaitha site was heavily bombed during the Gulf War in 1991, and virtually all the facilities were extensively damaged.

Immediately following the Gulf War in 2003, there was a significant breakdown in law and order within Iraq which adversely impacted security access control to the Al-Tuwaitha site as well as the other facilities around Iraq. Since 1991, there has been considerable looting of materials and equipment, some of it radioactively contaminated, resulting in subsequent damage to many of the facilities.

The Site location map identifies the location of these sites and provides access to more detailed descriptions of their activities.


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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.