500 Tons of Uranium Yellowcake Moved From Iraq to Canada-Truth!

500 Tons of Uranium Yellowcake Secretly Moved From Iraq to CanadaTruth!

Summary of eRumor:

Various commentaries and news agency reports about radio active concentrates of uranium known as “yellowcake” being secretly transported from Iraq to a base in Canada.

The Truth:

This eRumor started circulating in August, 2008.

“Yellowcake” (or “yellowcakes”) is a concentrate of uranium that results from the refinement of uranium ore.  It is used for making fuel for nuclear power plants and to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

On July 7, 2008 the American Forces Press Service released a statement of the completion of a classified mission dubbed “Operation McCall” to transfer 500 metric tons of yellowcake at the request of the Iraqi government from Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center near Baghdad to Canada.  Click here to read the story posted on the Department of Defense site.

According to published reports including CBS news, the United States secretly moved a huge stockpile of yellowcake over a two week period, from Iraq to Canada, partly to keep it from falling into the hands of either terrorists or foreign governments such as Iran.

The operation was reportedly more than a year in the making and took three months to execute.  It included carrying 3,500 barrels of yellowcake by road from Baghdad, then flying them on 37 military flights to an atoll in the Indian Ocean, then carrying them aboard a U.S. ship bound for Montreal.  In all, it added up to more than 500 metric tons of material from Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program.

The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake to a Canadian uranium company and it will be used in Ontario, Canada, for use in nuclear reactors.

A CBS report said, “And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam’s weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.  Accusations that Saddam had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger – and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims – led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration. “

The news report went on to say that the yellowcake “had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991.”

updated 11/17/08