2 July 2003. For bountiful information on uranium enrichment centrifuges search Google for "centrifuge cascade."


WISE News Communique on April 26, 1996

In Germany, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA - Federal Criminal Police) and Urenco Deutschland confirmed that blueprints of a very advanced gas centrifuge had been stolen and sold to Iraq sometime before 1991. Bonn officials called the matter the worst case of German nuclear export violations ever. The suspected expert, Karl-Heinz Schaab, is a former Urenco scientist, who had left Urenco and "set himself up as a consultant". Schaab and his wife Brigitte were convicted three years ago of having exported a number of carbon fiber centrifuge rotors to Iraq prior to the Gulf War; they were given a suspended prison sentence. Prior to their arrest in Austria, the couple had been sought by German authorities in Brazil. Schaab sold the design of TC-11, a powerful super-critical gas centrifuge to Iraq for less than DM 500,000 (US$350,000).


A bank of centrifuges at a Urenco plant

29 June 2003

Urenco, a UK centrifuge uranium enrichment firm which has plants in the UK, Netherlands and Germany. The firm's web sites provides information on the world market for centrifuge production as well as photographs which show centrifuges similar to that shown in the alleged Iraqi drawings and photos below. Here is a simplified Urenco diagram of a centrifuge used for uranium enhancement although an actual centrifuge is usually more elongated (taller) than this diagram, as shown in the engineering drawing below.


Another centrifuge diagram: http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/1991/m91/m91albrightf03.gif

28 June 2003

On June 26, 2003, the CIA distributed this website update:

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June 26 - Posted CIA statement and pictures on recently acquired Iraqi
          Centrifuge Equipment.


The URL provided six pictures of alleged nuclear-materials-processing centrifuge drawings and actual pieces with explanatory text. Since then the the six pictures have been removed. Here is the text with the six removed pictures.


June 26, 2003

CIA Statement on Recently Acquired Iraqi Centrifuge Equipment

  • The head of Iraq’s pre-1991 centrifuge uranium enrichment program, Dr. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, approached U.S. officials in Baghdad and turned over a volume of centrifuge documents and components he had hidden in his garden from inspectors since 1991. Dr. Ubaydi said he was interviewed by IAEA inspectors - most recently in 2002 - but did not reveal any of this.
  • Dr. Ubaydi told us that these items, blue prints and key centrifuge pieces, represented a complete template for what would be needed to rebuild a centrifuge uranium enrichment program. He also claimed this concealment was part of a secret, high-level plan to reconstitute the nuclear weapons program once sanctions ended.
  • This case illustrates the extreme challenge we face in Iraq as we search for evidence of WMD programs that were designed to elude detection by international inspectors.
  • We are working with Dr. Ubaydi to evaluate the equipment and documents he provided us.
  • We are hopeful that Dr. Ubaydi’s example will encourage other Iraqis with knowledge of Saddam’s WMD programs to come forward. 

Three images provided by A:

The centrifuge drawing is turned on its side and shows the slender centrifuge upright with the bottom bearing at right in the photo. The drawing is similar to centrifuges produced by Urenco in the UK.