U.S. intelligence sources have told WMR that the actual reason why Israel is gearing up for an attack on Iran's nuclear sites is because Israel fears that while its own nuclear weapons are degrading, Iran stands a chance of acquiring more potent weapons.
Intelligence sources report that since Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona in the Negev Desert was damaged in a fuel rod explosion during a refueling operation, its ability to reprocess plutonium for its nuclear weapons stockpile has been severely diminished. The accident occurred because the Israelis overstressed their Fast Breeder Reactor unit, causing it to become unstable. In 1997, a judge in Tel Aviv ordered the government to pay the family of Haim Itah, a worker at Dimona, NIS 2.5 million, because of cancer he contracted due to radiation leaks at the facility. The leaks were reported to have involved at least one accident at Dimona. The court decision also cited the "negligent safety" policies of Dimona's top management.
Israel has also been forced to quietly re-establish its global nuclear smuggling operations, rampant during the 1960s when it was working to acquire nuclear weapons.
Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor capabilities have always been clouded in maximum secrecy. However, the claim that Dimona was upgraded to a 75-megawatt reactor from its original 25-megawatt design came from Seymour Hersh's book "The Samson Option." In actuality, Israel's 25-megawatt power reactor produces up to 75-megawatts of thermal heat or steam due to inefficiencies in heat exchangers and turbine losses. A reactor of this size can only produce about one to two 30-kiloton size bombs per year with a maximum core/pit life, before reprocessing, of six to fourteen years. If the reactor has been operating for about 40 years, then the maximum number of weapons produced would be no greater than sixty 30-kiloton sized weapons. The maximum number of times that a nuclear core/pit can be reprocessed is about two to three times, due to plutonium losses when the core is re-manufactured. This is determined by the purity of the metal, its alloy content, and its designed detonation size. One single 25-megawatt nuclear reactor, during its lifetime, can only maintain approximately thirty to sixty 30-kiloton sized plutonium warheads per reactor.
WMR has learned that the diminished capabilities of the Negev Nuclear Research Center prompted Israel, in the 1990s, to actively smuggle nuclear materials, including enriched plutonium, to Israel. The smuggling operations immediately became known to the CIA's Counterproliferation Division and its non-official cover (NOC) Brewster Jennings & Associates operation headed up by Valerie Plame.
U.S. intelligence has learned that the Israelis are worried about a nuclear weapons gap with both Pakistan and Iran. Although there is no evidence to suggest that Iran has re-started its nuclear weapons development program since ceasing it in 2003, as reported by CIA, if Iran were to re-establish its program, the math has Israel concerned.
The Iranian reactor was originally an American designed 100-megawatt power/300 megawatt thermal reactor provided to the Shah's regime in 1975. The reactor at Bushehr on the Gulf was built by the Germans and completed by the Russians. If it were re-engineered for weapons development, the reactor has the ability to produce up to eight 30-kiloton plutonium weapons per year or about a total of 96 nuclear weapons in a fourteen year cycle before plutonium reprocessing would be necessary. As the Israeli weapons age, their total stockpile will be reduced to less than 30 weapons within fourteen years, while the Iranian stockpile would grow to 96 weapons of equal explosive size. Thus, a nuclear weapons gap would exist between Israel and Iran. The Israelis are in a panic because they are losing the nuclear race with Iran and Pakistan. Therefore, through its influence with the United States, Great Britain, and France, Israel is seeking to destabilize both Iran and Pakistan. In the case of Pakistan, Israel also has the assistance of India. The security and future of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is reportedly, and ironically, on the agenda of talks in Washington between President Obama and Prime Minister Indian Manmohan Singh, even as the United States cements a nuclear cooperation pact with New Delhi, which, like Pakistan and Israel, has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran is a signatory of the NPT.
Israel's search for replacement enriched plutonium hit pay-dirt when its intelligence service discovered that the Pantex nuclear facility near Amarillo, Texas, stores enriched plutonium fuel that is 99 percent pure plutonium that does not require reprocessing for another 60 to 90 years. However, the Department of Energy has plans to store much of the nuclear fuel now at Pantex at the very secure Yucca Mountain storage complex within the Nevada Test Site. WMR previously reported that Mossad agents are extremely active at military and nuclear sites in Nevada, including the Nevada Test Site. However, Israeli scientists may have already penetrated the security at the Nevada Test Site through a joint operation with the United States. WMR has learned that U.S. and Israeli scientists are co-testing newer electromagnetic core/pit compression techniques that does not use conventional explosives as the weapon detonator. Instead, the fuel is magnetically compressed. The technique overcomes the plutonium aging issue while allowing for the development of micro-nuclear weaponry.For example, 650 grams of force per square centimeter is all that is required to compress a plutonium core into a critical state. 750 grams is the minimum amount of plutonium that is needed in order to produce a nuclear explosion. One kilogram of plutonium produces an explosive yield equal to one kiloton of TNT.
The Israelis discovered that only U.S. nuclear cores composed of plutonium alloys were ripe for theft at Pantex. The 99 percent plutonium fuel was more well-guarded. Because the older plutonium cores required refrigeration to keep them cooler than 150 degrees, the Israelis used refrigeration trucks to move the cores through the port of Houston and into refrigeration containers loaded on board ships belonging to Zim-American Israeli Shipping Company, a firm with close links to the Mossad. From Houston, the plutonium alloy cores were shipped to Israel and Dimona.
One individual who had the port of Houston under close scrutiny was CIA contractor/informant/source Roland "Tony" Carnaby. Carnaby had set up a number of video surveillance cameras at the port of Houston and routinely uploaded the stored videos from the camera units to his Macintosh computer. In April 2008, Carnaby was shot to death by two Houston police officers after what was reported to have been a high-speed chase by police. After he was killed, the Houston police took possession of Carnaby's Macintosh computer. WMR previously reported that Carnaby kept Israeli intelligence assets and agents under close scrutiny in Houston and that he had a strange encounter with an Israeli Consulate General official the evening before he was shot. WMR also previously reported on Mossad's penetration of the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Harris County Sheriff Adrien Garcia has visited Israel and is considered close to the Israeli intelligence operation in Houston. Garcia's overall agenda was also never trusted by Carnaby, according to our sources in Houston. Conveniently, security for the port of Houston comes under Harris County and Garcia. Radiation detectors routinely scan containers at Houston for the presence of nuclear materials, hence, it is important for the Mossad to counteract security at the port.
On August 13, 2008, WMR reported: "WMR previously reported that slain retired CIA station chief in Houston, Roland 'Tony' Carnaby, gunned down gangland-style on April 29 by Houston police after his vehicle ran out of gas, not after a 'high-speed chase' as alleged by Houston police, had a tepid and wary relationship with Israeli intelligence operatives in Houston. Carnaby was contracted to the Port of Houston, as well as the two Houston area international airports, to provide security consultative services. An Israeli firm, Orsus, is currently installing an integrated security monitoring system that will link video surveillance, visitor control, and police dispatch systems to a 24-hour Port Coordination Center. It is known that Carnaby used a number of cell phones to dial into port video cameras to turn them on, stop them, and download captured video data. The Israeli firm was scheduled to begin installation of its system this month.The financial backers of Orsus include ComSor Venture Fund LDC, a joint operation of Comverse Technology, which includes its subsidiary Verint Systems, and Soros Fund Management's Quantum Industrial Holdings Ltd. Other investors in Orsus include Israel's Koor Industries, the leading shareholder of Tadiran, the Israeli defense electronics firm; Cial Industries and Investment, an Israeli holding company; the Cedar Fund, an 'Israeli-related' venture capital firm; Israel Infinity Venture Capital Fund; and Poalim Capital Markets, a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank."
Carnaby was, reportedly, working with the FBI on the Israeli nuclear smuggling issue and the FBI office in Houston requested that the Houston police call off their chase of Carnaby. WMR has also learned that one of the Israeli agents involved in the Pantex smuggling is the agent known as "Stinky" by FBI surveillance teams. He is called "Stinky" because of his obeseness and sloppy eating habits. "Stinky" was linked to the clubbing death of CIA missile expert William Bennett in Landsdowne, Virginia, near Leesburg, in March of this year and the assassination of weapons developer Gerald Bull in 1990 in Brusssels. Bennett had uncovered evidence that Israel had shared with or sold to China and Russia classified U.S. Patriot missile and stealth technology.
Stinky has been seen in the Amarillo area with a crew from New Jersey and he is believed to have re-entered the United States, after the hit on Bennett, on a false Canadian passport.