Understanding the Lessons of Nuclear Inspections and Monitoring in Iraq: A Ten-Year Review
Sponsored by the Institute for Science and International Security
June 14-15, 2001
Uncovering the Secret Program -- Initial Inspections
Dimitri Perricos, Former Deputy Leader of the IAEA Action Team
Transcript date: August 28, 2001
David Albright: Our next speaker is Dimitri Perricos, who is currently the Director of the Division of Planning and Operations at UNMOVIC in New York. In the early 1990s, he served as the Deputy Leader for Operations at the IAEA Action Team, and served as an inspector in Iraq. In particular, he was the Chief Inspector of the very first inspection in Iraq after the Gulf War. He has also served in several other high-level positions at the IAEA, and has generated a tremendous amount of respect in many communities, particularly at the Agency, for his insights into how to do verification.
Dimitri Perricos: Thank you very much.
To begin my talk, I would make the observation that Iraq is a large country, and there are many locations where it could build nuclear sites. Because of this, it is very difficult to find everything. But the IAEA Action Team and UNSCOM both found the ways and means to access and investigate most of Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile activities.
In the 1980s, the IAEA was performing regular safeguards inspections in Iraq. The Agency was implementing a safeguard system that depended on Iraqi declarations of nuclear material and nuclear activities. Although the Agency would take into consideration in its assessment that some undeclared activities existed, in reality safeguards were not focused on this issue.
Then, in 1991, after the Gulf War, everything broke loose. It was found out that Iraq was involved in a clandestine nuclear weapons program. The most shocking thing to the international community was the fact that this was the first time that an NPT state had violated the treaty by implementing a clandestine program--not only to produce fissile materials, but also to develop the weaponization of fissile material into a nuclear explosive device.
Well, what is important to understand is that resolution 687--the "mother of all resolutions" regarding Iraq--is a cease-fire agreement and not a safeguards agreement. The resolution gave the Agency responsibility for activities that were different than regualar safeguards activities. The fact that the Agency was able to uncover all that it did is owed to the fact that there was full support by the Security Council. The same can also be stated for UNSCOM.
As long as the Security Council was in full support of the inspections in Iraq, the Agency did a lot of effective work. But when that support started to weaken, it started to create some problems.
Resolution 687 provided for certain verification tasks. These were (1) to determine the scope and the extent of the nuclear program; (2) to destroy, remove, or render harmless the components of that program; and finally (3) to start implementing an Ongoing Monitoring and Verification (OMV) system. That's how the whole process was defined from the very beginning.
Many have asked why resolution 687 created a new Special Commission (UNSCOM) that would be responsible for biological and chemical weapons and missiles, but gave the responsibility for investigating the nuclear program to the IAEA. There were reasons for this. First of all, the IAEA already existed. It was a technical organization with a lot of experience in areas of inspection. No other such organization existed at that time in the world, except perhaps for EURATOM, that had an established, organized, multinational system to perform inspections.
There were also some political realities. In 1990, the NPT had just been reviewed and extended, and the question of the treaty's indefinite extension was to be addressed in 1995. Therefore, for the international community to just disregard the IAEA as an effective organization capable of doing the inspections in Iraq could have a serious effect on the way that the NPT and its indefinite extension might be considered over the next five-year period.
What could the Agency offer? It offered experience in organizing inspections and inspection campaigns in complex nuclear facilities, and that's what it was expected to do in Iraq. The Agency had staff that were experts in nuclear technology. It knew how to take measurements of nuclear materials and how to take samples. The Agency had familiarity with high-sensitivity detection technology. And it knew how to analyze and evaluate inspection findings. In reality, it possessed the whole range of the inspection work as it was expected to take place.
Let me review a brief chronology of events before the inspections started. Resolution 687 was endorsed by the Security Council on April 3, 1991, and the resolution was accepted by Iraq. On April 15, the IAEA established the Action Team. On April 18, the IAEA received the first Iraqi declaration of its nuclear program--it was the first of many declarations.
The first declaration was rejected by the Agency because it didn't contain anything. There was a full denial that anything existed, in terms of any important nuclear material, in Iraq. On April 27, Iraq issued a declaration that had a little bit more content, which at least gave the Agency a starting point. Iraq declared that it did have highly enriched uranium (HEU), which everyone already knew about, because it was part of the HEU fuel used in the Tamuz reactor. Iraq also admitted that it had buildings and facilities at Tuwaitha other than those that had been visited by safeguards inspectors. On May 15, the Agency team was in Iraq and ready to perform the first inspection, which was done with the support of the newly formed Special Commission in New York.
From the first inspection we started looking to find out what information we could gather about Iraq's nuclear program. Slowly, we started to understand what was happening with the Iraqi program in the 1980s. We found that Iraq had been accumulating a lot of natural uranium, both produced in Iraq and procured abroad. They were developing the capability to make highly pure uranium metal. They were seeking to develop the capability to produce plutonium by separating, on a laboratory scale, small amounts of plutonium--gram quantities. They developed uranium enrichment capabilities, basically to enrich uranium to weapons-usable levels. They started with gaseous diffusion research, but abandoned it early in 1987. They developed the electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS) program, which was a dinosaur technology. They were developing gas centrifuge technology, which was, of course, the most modern enrichment technology. They also worked on chemical, laser, and ion exchange technologies.
We found out that, by January 1991, the work by Iraq concentrated on the recovery of uranium at Al Qaim, developing EMIS technology in Tuwaitha--and, of course, conducting a lot of other development activities in the Tuwaitha area.
To our surprise, Tuwaitha was a very, very large center. It was not just the three or four buildings that safeguards inspectors had visited before the war--the two reactors, a small storage facility, and a small laboratory-scale fabrication plant. We found that there was a whole, new area of Tuwaitha where safeguards inspectors had never been before. This area was only known to those people who had access to aerial surveillance. It was in this area, called the new R&D area, where Iraq did most of its clandestine development work.
There was also the EMIS plant in Tarmiya where the Iraqis did their main EMIS installation. Tarmiya is very large, and there the Iraqis did both chemical and physical separations. These activities were combined together in a pretty isolated area, away from too many eyes. At the same time, they constructed a sister facility of Tarmiya in order to develop a greater EMIS enrichment capability and increase the quantity of material to be enriched. That was done in the area of Ash Sharqat, which is in a really isolated location in a desert area in northern Iraq, that is not easily approachable.
They had a uranium feed material production facility in Al Jesira, also up in the north near Mosul. Like the others, this was in a large, isolated area that was not very easily approachable.
The gas centrifuge program was developed with foreign assistance. The program was initiated at Tuwaitha, but then moved to the Engineering Design Center (EDC) at Rashdiya. At the same time, while they were doing their R&D work at the EDC, they worked on the construction of a centrifuge production facility in Al Furat. And of course Iraq started thinking of weaponization, and they concentrated everything in one area, which was the famous Al Atheer site.
In 1991, the Action Team was created on the basis of a small core group of people--four in the beginning--that would be able to coordinate and draw upon the assistance and expertise from other areas of the IAEA, from the Special Commission, and from member states to form inspection teams. Logistical support for the inspections was arranged through the Special Commission.
The Action Team was responsible for carrying out inspections that were different than the regular inspections performed by the Agency before the Gulf War. Action Team inspections were based on unprecedented rights of access to information, locations, verification technology, and people, with complete logistical support to affect that access. And all these accesses were fully utilized in order to be able to chart the program.
Now, on what basis were inspections planned? We had to begin by utilizing our previous experiences of doing safeguard inspections, but with the full understanding that this experience had to be adjusted to the new conditions. It had to be adjusted to include searching for undeclared materials and locations in Iraq. Moreover, we had to be sure to do this in a safe way, because, just after the Gulf War, there was a lot of unexploded ordnance around, and so people had to be extremely careful.
So, how did we plan the inspections? We established a procedure, which created a model that was followed by the Special Commission. Later, it was also followed by the OPCW, because it included standard procedures for searching and monitoring activities.
First you identify your mission objectives. You start collecting all relevant information--be that information from the sky, from open sources, from previous inspections, or other data. You put this information together and, on the basis of that, you identify the expertise that you need to have in the field as inspectors.
There was a broad range of expertise that we needed. We needed good experts in the measurements of nuclear material, for example, so we selected inspectors from the IAEA safeguards department. We used other Agency experts in the areas of nuclear safety, transportation, waste management, assessments of power production, and from other areas. These were all very helpful. We needed other expertise, for example expertise in different uranium enrichment technologies and weaponization, and sometimes we went outside the Agency for this. We went through the Special Commission or directly to governments in order to get these people.
Next, we had to identify what activities needed to be performed. For example, if you are going to do measurements and sampling, then you need to know what measurements you will be making and what type of samples you will collect. You have to then identify all the equipment that you need for that purpose.
We also had to be sure that we had a very good idea of the hazards in the field. I must point out here that, due to very good luck, but also due to good preparations both in the IAEA and in UNSCOM, there were no serious accidents during an inspection. We never had a serious health problem related to the inspection work, and there were thousands of person-days of inspections, where people were going around in Iraq under difficult circumstances.
You also had to look at the type of support that was needed. You had to see if you needed helicopters, if you needed medics, or if you had special communication and transportation needs. You had to consider whether you would need interpretation, or if you would need translators who could read documents, translate them, and tell you immediately whether or not they were worthwhile keeping.
You had to have operational security, which was a necessity given the particular circumstances of work in Iraq. We knew, from the very beginning, that Iraq would attempt to learn where we were planning to go, and how we were going to do an inspection. Information about site and locations, the objectives, and the verification methods--and especially the date and times of the inspections--was very, very sensitive.
This information had to be kept under very tight control, and shared only on a need-to-know basis. But we had to be able to share enough information within the team so that the inspection would be effective. So, we used certified, secure communications and tried to have secure areas for discussions--usually this meant taking long walks, so that you could at least talk to each other directly. But, in a sense, all we tried to do was apply a common sense approach in these operational security procedures.
The leader of the inspection mission was designated as the Chief Inspector. His first duty was to prepare a briefing for the inspection team where he would outline the objectives of the mission. He would also allocate different tasks to different members of the team, depending on their specialization. This would also be the time to determine whether the inspection mission would need to be broken into sub-teams--and the Chief Inspector would assign the corresponding group leaders--so that we would be able to have a faster, more efficient and more effective assessment of a particular site.
It was important, when planning an inspection, to build in flexibility in your plans, because you never knew what surprises you were going to find when you arrived at a particular site, or even on the first day after arriving in Baghdad. And therefore you had to be flexible enough to adjust your plans in such a way that you could address any new information.
At the end of the day, when everything was completed, and the team or the different groups were returning to Baghdad, the inspection team had to be debriefed about the findings of the day. This was important for preparing for the next part of the inspection.
The IAEA Action Team used many different measures and equipment on inspections. These are well known to all of you, and have frequently been described in the open literature. But I want to stress that the most important asset that we had were the inspectors' eyes. The inspectors' observations at the site, and the hour-to-hour judgments made during an inspection--based on their observations and expertise--are the most important assets that any inspection organization can have. Of course, other measures like optical imagery, be that from satellites, U-2 over-flights, or helicopter over-flights, was also very helpful during the early inspections, and these measures continued to be utilized and helpful until the inspections were stopped at the end of 1998.
Information provided by member-states was very important. It was essential to have procurement data, so that we could follow up with the Iraqi side and find the materials that had been procured. Once these materials or items were found, they would be placed under monitoring, would be destroyed, or taken out of the country.
Smear sampling became a very important tool. The IAEA inspectors had never used this technique before, nor had any other inspection organization. It was introduced for the first time in Iraq, and it proved its worth so much that it became a standard operating measure in the IAEA safeguards regime.
There were other types of samples that were taken on inspections. There was radiometric sampling, air sampling, and sampling of vegetation and sediment. There was the hydrological survey of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which Maurizio Zifferero once referred to as the "urinalysis of Iraq."
Interviews and technical seminars with Iraqis were utilized to a large extent. We conducted interviews with people who had been responsible for the programs. There were difficulties in the interviews; the interviewees were not easy to speak to because they were under observation. But still, there was an art for interviewing that was developed--some people were better at it than others--and interviews were used extensively and very productively.
Surveillance equipment, sensors, and seals were used. Measuring nuclear material was a standard part of any inspection at a facility where such material was located. And of course, wherever we found dual-use items, we verified the use of the equipment. Therefore, very, very short-notice inspections were absolutely required to verify the use of a dual-use item or equipment. I'm not talking about proscribed items, because proscribed items, after a while, did not exist in Iraq, at least in the nuclear area.
Verifying computer activities--disks and files--was also done. This was something that inspectors had to learn to do, and it was not very easy. So, if there were suspicions that there were some particular items on a computer, specialists would be called in to interrogate the systems.
There were three points that were necessary to be followed in any inspection, irrespective if the inspection was for very small facilities or very large sites. First, the recording of all findings--there was nothing that was left unrecorded. This was done by the inspectors at the site by hand--writing down all the different events--by taking video recordings, and photography. Taking photographs was an essential part of each mission. The same was done by the Iraqi side.
The second very important point was that there was follow-up on all of the activities. It was important to see that every inspection was followed up by another inspection, which would build upon the results of the previous one. You had to go back to some of the places that the previous team had visited to be sure that you were not leaving any gaps.
The third important point was that you took all measures to control the movements in and out of the site that you were inspecting. You tried to freeze the situation, so that the Iraqi side would be unable to take the material out.
It is easy to say all of these things, having the benefit of hindsight. But I am going to talk now about some different experiences that teams had, and you are going to understand that inspectors had to devise and implement ad hoc measures in ad hoc situations.
So, the first inspection in Iraq under resolution 687 was at Tuwaitha. As responsible for Operations in the Action Team, I was the Chief Inspector of the first inspection team, and of many others. The first inspection had a very defined objective: to get custody of all the nuclear material in Iraq--find out where the material was located, and take control of it so that there would be no danger that the material would disappear.
Now, I want to show you an overhead picture and a schematic (figure 1) of Tuwaitha. I want to show it to you, because it was only before the first inspection that the IAEA saw an overhead picture of the whole site. It was the first time that the IAEA was able to see the magnitude of the site it was visiting before the Gulf War. The picture and the schematic were used to brief the first inspection team.
The Iraqis had constructed big berms, about 30 meters high, around the site. On top, they had anti-aircraft guns because, of course, of the Israeli bombing of the Tamuz reactor and for the defense of the site from Iranian aircraft. But at the same time, the berms were able to hide areas of the site from eyes of visitors, including safeguards inspectors.
Most of the EMIS activities and the production of the initial target material was done in so-called "new R&D area" [points to image on schematic]. Analysts had named areas of the site, based on the country that had provided som basic technology to Iraq. So, [points to image] we have the "Italian area" were, where there were fuel fabrication and other laboratories; there was the "French area," [points to image] where the French reactor Tamuz was located, and there was the "Russian area" in the center [points to image] where the old IRT research reactor was located.
Of course, there were other areas where you had the waste disposal and other activities. These were mixed: part French and part Italian, for the hot cells, and parts of it from the USSR. The "new development area," [points to image] where most of the R&D work was done, was secluded.
The first inspection was to find out where the nuclear material was, and we had to go to Tuwaitha to assess the situation. Inspectors had to walk carefully among the ruins, because there were still unexploded ordnance. We had Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts who were going ahead, and you had to follow in their steps to avoid getting into danger.
The surprise that we had was that the nuclear material was not where it was supposed to be. We spent some time in the beginning--the first days--persuading the Iraqis to tell us where the fresh HEU was located. We found out that the HEU had been removed for storage in the physical protection control bunker at the entrance of Tuwaitha, which we named "Location A."
Then we looked for the spent fuel. We were not able to find any spent fuel, except for that spent fuel that was buried in the rubble at the site. We finally were told by the Iraqis that they had taken all the spent fuel--one by one, over a long operation, they said, during the bombardment period--and put all of it in an agricultural farm somewhere closer to Baghdad. In a deserted area, they had dug some holes and they put the fuel assemblies in barrels with water and kept them in there. This we called "Location B."
Tuwaitha was very badly damaged by the Gulf War bombardment. The bombing had done its work, but it also caused some difficulties for us, because it gave the Iraqis an excuse to hide a lot of things and tell us that they had been lost during the bombing, hidden by the rubble, or burned.
Some of our activities were in the new R&D area where we found what turned out to be some of the initial magnets used in the EMIS development program. But some chores were more difficult then others. You had to go through the rubble to try to find out what was there. Inspectors spent a lot of time digging, really digging, into rubble in order to be able to find material or equipment that we were told had been lost in the bombing.
The fuel fabrication laboratory that was being inspected by the Agency under regular safeguards inspections was also visited on this first inspection. There were fresh fuel pins found there in the rubble, and of course that created other problems. Not only did they have to be removed, but we had to be careful not to contaminate the area.
As I noted, most of the spent fuel had been put in barrels with water, placed in holes in the ground, and covered with concrete blocks at Location B. So, we had not only to measure the fuel, we also had to take it under control and, eventually during subsequent inspections, we had to be able to take it and store it in areas where it could later be shipped out of the country.
We found large quantities of natural uranium being kept in a location near Tuwaitha. There were hundreds of barrels of yellow cake. Some of this was material that had been imported before the Gulf War. At this particular location, which we called "Location C," we started to collect all the natural uranium and low-enriched uranium from other locations in Iraq.
And of course, in every place that you were going you would find that there was a clear attempt to eliminate evidence. There was a lot of burned material in different places in different facilities.
In addition to visiting Tuwaitha, we had also received information that there was a site called Tarmiya that might have facilities related to gas centrifuge production and development. So, the first inspection team went there to assess the place. The team found that, on the whole, the area was in ruins. In the beginning, they couldn't make anything out of it; they could not really understand what was happening. They were told that the facility was not important--it was used for chemical processes like electroplating, and there were at least 10 MW of installed electrical capacity--but the inspectors were extremely skeptical. There was all sorts of new construction and walls in the large hall that did not make sense. But one thing was very clear: the facility did not have the profile of a centrifuge enrichment facility.
Well, the inspectors took hundreds of pictures of Tarmiya, and they were collected in Vienna and shown to experts. One of the experts was John Googin, a relatively senior man who had been involved in the Manhattan Project. When he went through the pictures--I can still see him in Vienna sorting them out--he came up with the pronouncement that " this is definitely an electromagnetic isotope separation process."
This was quite a revelation, and it was used to explain other findings. From aerial imagery--from satellite pictures--the intelligence community had already seen a large number of movements and burials of large "frisbees." No one could understand what they were; there was no explanation. But with these pictures, things started falling into place. Once the pictures were put into line, then the "dinosaur" was resurrected--EMIS was still there. It had been used as the main system in the Iraqi enrichment program.
The second inspection started with problems, because access was denied. It was Maurizio Zifferero who led the inspection, and David Kay was there to assist. Zifferero had to go quickly to the Security Council in New York because of the access problems. David Kay proceeded with the rest of the inspection.
The team went over to Falujia, where they found a lot of trucks moving in and out of the facility. Falujia is where the famous "tower incident" took place. From the top of a tower, inspectors could observe trucks moving equipment out of the facility, despite the requirement not to do so. As I said earlier, there was a standard requirement not to move anything out of a facility once an inspection had been initiated.
The instruction was given, of course, to try to see what the trucks were moving and to take photographs. Les Thorne of the Action Team, who was on the inspection, was in one of the cars, so he and another inspector started following. They got a very nice picture of the trucks with the frisbees. And, for the first time, Iraqi guards started shooting at the car of the two IAEA inspectors who were trying to photograph these trucks.
Well, it had a good effect. The incident promoted more pressure from the Security Council. It brought about a high-level meeting, which led to more pressure on Iraq to reveal things, because now it was very obvious that the inspectors had something that could clearly be identified.
Then came the third inspection. The inspectors arrived in Baghdad, and on the next morning they were delivered a big list of items that Iraq now wanted to declare. There was a long list of facilities, but--more important than anything else--there were the names of the places where the inspectors could find all these "calutrons" from the EMIS program. We went to one of these locations, and the first thing that we requested was "roll the trucks in." And the trucks arrived, and the inspectors were happy. It was really a culmination of two months of hunting for these, and finally they were there.
The place that they took us had a lot of buried equipment that was related to the EMIS project. We found calutrons and parts of the large vacuum chambers, destroyed vacuum pumps, and parts of coils that had been used to magnetize the huge iron cores. But it was very hot. It was 45 degrees centigrade, and people could fry their eggs or heat their MREs--"meals ready to eat"--on the jeep windows.
And of course, after that, there was another revelation. Finally, Dr. Jaffar Dia Jaffar, the father of the EMIS program, came out of the dark. During a technical seminar that we had with the Iraqi technical staff, where the inspectors asked questions about the enrichment program, the Iraqis in the front of the room could not provide any answers. Finally, from the back of the room a voice says, "Well, I will explain that." That was the first time that we saw Dr. Jaffar.
Jaffar tried to explain--in his own way--what the EMIS program was all about. As he said, the program, of course, was a peaceful program; it had nothing to do with any intention to weaponize. Iraq had to supply the fuel for its own power reactor and research reactor projects. But in a subsequent visit to Tarmiya, they gave us a video that, for the first time, enabled us to assess the magnitude of the project that was being built in the large halls at Tarmiya.
The video showed the big magnets, as they had been set up in place. You could see the various pumps and vacuum systems. There were supposed to be a large number of them; they followed exactly the classical recipe learned from the Manhattan Project. They used a large number of calutrons in the beginning of the process to enrich the feed material to a low level with high efficiency. Then they had set up the second part in another building where there were a smaller number of calutrons to enrich this low enriched material to 93 percent uranium 235. We also received from Iraq some nuclear material generated by the EMIS process.
I spoke earlier about how we did not understand some of the construction and the walls in the main building in Tarmiya. Now we understood that these were built to mask the fact that they had the rails to move the calutrons into place. They also hid the return ion, which was necessary to close the circuit. All of this had been set up, and the wall had been put up in order to hide the rails from the inspectors.
There was another little surprise. A truck rolled in a storage location near Tuwaitha, and this time it carried equipment from the centrifuge program, including parts of the housings, centrifuges, and sampling systems.
Well, nothing could go on without arguments. This is something experienced by everybody who has been in Iraq--be they from the IAEA or the Special Commission. Argument was the order of the day.
There was one Iraqi who was our main contact who was always swearing that everything he said was true, but he always placed his hand on the wrong side of his chest, never over his heart (laughter). It's something that the inspectors were always teasing him about. He was always taking the grand stand. He was a very good man for Iraq, and I think that he tried his best to conform with his government's requirements. So, nobody blamed him. He was a good man; at least he was efficient. He would do things when he wanted to do things.
Well, subsequently, Al Atheer came out into the open. Information had been assessed and, of course, it was found out about the famous PC-3 program. This was the center of the organization that was basically used for the weapons program. It was in the famous building that was opposite the so-called "Palestine Hotel." This facility was visited during the sixth inspection, led by David Kay and with the participation of Bob Gallucci. But before that, the sixth inspection team had visited another building.
There were a lot of people on the sixth team--mostly from the United States and from the UK. They went in with one mission: to search for documents. There was a very good intelligence source that provided that input. They went very early in the morning and they got in the building oppostite the Al Rasheed Hotel, and they finally managed to get out one document--the famous smoking gun document. But finding this smoking gun told the Iraqis that they must protect their sources as much as possible. And until Hussein Kamel's defection and the famous chicken farm documents, no other important documentation was ever found.
The team got that smoking gun document out of Iraq, but not everything went so smoothly. Other documents were seized by the Iraqis and they were held; a number of them were never returned. And the next day they started all over again at the PC-3 building. And then, with the experience that they had from the first day, the Iraqis were ready and they closed them in--creating the parking lot incident. The inspectors were not able to take these documents out.
There were other times where we had other intelligence information coming in. There were tips, as I said, of procurement--for example, that Iraq had imported a lot of maraging steel. The maraging steel--they had said that it was 100 tonnes--was imported in order to make centrifuges. The Iraqis told us that they had melted it down, and therefore they could only provide the melted parts. They were truthful; we saw the maraging steel slabs, we took all the necessary samples, and we assessed that the Iraqi declaration was correct--at least for this part.
But then came other issues. There were a lot of proscribed materials that had been found that we could not maintain in Iraq. Either we had to take them out of the country, or we had to start the destruction process.
After many discussions, a decision was taken that the buildings that were involved in the program, as well as the equipment that were used or important for the weapons program, either had to be taken out or to be destroyed.
All the weapons-usable nuclear material that we had seen was to be flown out. The first to be flown out of the country was the HEU. The spent fuel was flown out much later, because there were other difficulties involved in that.
We started with Al Atheer and its famous bunker. Bob Kelley went--every day--down to that bunker. He loved it. The bunker had a very nice big hole on the top from the Gulf War, as it had been penetrated by a bomb. But the inside of the bunker was intact. So it was decided that that bunker had to be destroyed, and the most optimal way of doing that was to fill it up with concrete. So we went through that process, and we poured several tonnes of concrete until the whole bunker was filled.
And then came the issue of destroying different buildings. This required a large amount of preparatory work. We brought in special engineers from Sweden and Switzerland to do this work. So, the buildings were prepared, and then finally there were explosions that brought down all the buildings that were involved in the program at Al Atheer. The same thing happened at Tarmiya and at Ash Sharqat. The proud calutrons also were completely destroyed.
Let me reach my conclusion, as I am running out of time. So, what was left of the program? At the end of the period--and I'm talking about the 20 inspections which covered through the middle of 1993--the Agency was able to chart the program and to start understanding what it was all about. I will not say that the Agency gained a complete understanding, because it took a long time to get additional information. But we knew, at that time, what we were dealing with, we destroyed or rendered harmless the things that we wanted to destroy, and we knew how and where to take things away. So, by the middle of the first phase, we managed to get pretty good control over what was happening, and how it was happening, in Iraq.
Thank you very much.
David Albright: Thank you Dimitri. I think you went so long on purpose so as to avoid having to answer any questions for now. So, this will conclude this section of the conference.