Psst … Can I Get A Bomb Trigger?

The New York Times
Week in Review
September 15, 2002

When it was revealed last week that Iraq had tried to purchase “aluminum tubes,” it seemed to many experts – and certainly to the Bush administration – that Saddam Hussein was continuing attempts to build a nuclear weapon. The inference was partly based on the shape and composition of the tubes, which were much like those used in equipment to enrich uranium

But keeping tack of all the equipment and know-how that go into making a nuclear bomb is rarely a simple task. Some items have benign uses. Others, like blueprints for making a bomb, have obvious implications. Following is a selection of technologies and services that are known to have been transformed to countries with nuclear ambitions – all of which raised suspicions regarding their ultimate use.

Case overviews compiled by Jordan Richie and Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

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