Scrap-laden trucks from Iraq banned entry

From: davey garland
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 15:45:18 +0100 (BST) To: , ,
Subject: [du-list] scrap radioactive metal
AMMAN (JT) ? Customs authorities have banned scrap-laden trucks from Iraq entering the Kingdom after on-the-spot checks detected radioactive metal among the cargo.
The shipment was en route to Aqaba Port for export to the United States, Britain, and European countries.
Officials used devices that were able to detect quantities of enriched uranium in the shipment.
The officials said one truck was carrying around 40 tonnes of scrap that had radioactive material stuck to it, adding that the total quantity was measured at 1,118 sievert (a measurement of radiation) while the normal limit is 75 sv.
Sources told Al Rai and The Jordan Times the vehicles were sent back to Iraq.

Government Spokesperson Asma Khader could not immediately confirm the report but told Agence France-Presse that Jordan had taken measures to ensure scrap entering the country from Iraq was not contaminated.
We had scientific information that scrap and metal could be contaminated and radioactive… so Jordan took preventive measures to test these shipments before they enter the country, Khader told AFP.
We took all the necessary measures and have placed detection devices at the border (with Iraq) to make sure that no such material enters Jordan before it is tested.

The same sources added that Jordan has also banned the entry of foodstuff from Iraq for fear of contamination as a result of the US bombardment of the country during the war.
Jordan has set up three testing centres on the border, capable of detecting traces of enriched uranium as well as chemical material.
AFP reported that The New York Times newspaper on Friday said military equipment as well as seemingly brand-new parts of oil rigs and water plants might be leaving Iraq by truck every day in what could be a massive looting operation.
This is systematically plundering the country, John Hamre of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan Washington research institute, told the paper.

While coalition authorities have approved the removal of scrap metal from Iraq, including thousands of damaged Iraqi tanks and military vehicles, material seen in scrapyards in neighbouring Jordan include new material from Iraq’s civil infrastructure, the daily said.
One hundred semitrailers loaded with what is billed as scrap metal arrive in Jordan everyday from Iraq bearing legitimate scrap metal, but also inestimable amounts of plundered material, said the paper.

The customs sources that spoke to Al Rai and The Jordan Times said they deal with 200-250 trucks on a daily basis.
The New York Times said one of its reporters saw piles of valuable copper and aluminum ingots and bars, large stacks of steel rods and water pipe and giant flanges for oil equipment, all in nearly mint condition, as well as chopped up railroad boxcars, huge numbers of shattered Iraqi tanks and even beer kegs marked with the words `Iraqi Brewery.’

The head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification office in Iraq, Jacques Baute, told the paper that satellite photographs the agency uses to monitor hundreds of military-industrial sites for the removal of sensitive material show jarring
Entire buildings and complexes of as many as a dozen buildings have vanished from the photographs, he said.

We see sites that have totally been cleaned out,
Baute added.
The Centre for Strategic and International Studies has sent a team to Iraq and issued a report on reconstruction efforts at the request of the Pentagon last July.
Sam Whitfield, a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, told the paper that the coalition had put a stop to widespread looting in Iraq.

But an engineer at a scrapyard in Sahab, Jordan, pointed to items that did not look like scrap at all.
He indicated five-metre-long bars of carbon steel, water pipes 30 centimetres in diameter stacked in triangular piles three metres high and large falanges he identified as oil-well equipment.
It’s still new and worth a lot, Mohammad Al Dajah told the Times. Why are they here? They need it there, he said.
Monday, May 31, 2004

Civilian standards say 0.5 mSv is maximum exposure level. The Jordan story (D Garland’s posting) says 75 Sv are normal, a whopping 15,000 times the standard. If the inspectors are finding thousands of times
(again) more than this level in Iraqi scrap metal they are handling either pure uranium or other “special nuclear materials”. The levels reported in the article warrant highest level of emergency response to anyone handling the material. There must be a mistake reporting the numbers. Tell your friends to evacuate immediately.