Redirection of former Iraqi WMD scientists through capacity building for decommissioning of nuclear facilities, including sites and radioactive waste management




Implementer: Insubria Center on International Security (ICIS)

Funder: European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid (DG DEVCO)

Implementation period: August, 9th 2010 – August, 8th 2013


Iraq had a significant nuclear program which dated back to the 1960s. The Iraqi nuclear program witnessed several seatbacks starting from 1981 Israeli attack to Osirak’s reactor. The nuclear sites were then seriously compromised during the first gulf war (1991) when a number of these installations were destroyed. Subsequent actions by IAEA based on UN Security Council decisions further reduced the usability of the nuclear installations. Decommissioning of these installations and sustainable engagement of the former WMD scientists were then the main scopes of the ICIS-led cooperation program thanks to the support of an EU funding instrument.

i1Adverse environmental impacts and health consequences of the contaminated remains of Iraqi nuclear facilities were concerns of the Iraqi citizens especially at the al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre located in the South of Baghdad.

The main scope of the project was to build a sustainable capacity in decommissioning, dismantling and decontamination technologies in order to redirect the Iraqi former weapon scientists to peaceful activities. Also the project had the purpose to support the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) in the establishment, development, staffing and operation of a characterization laboratory for uranium analysis required for decommissioning programmes and in training and expert guidance for operating the laboratory.

 Click here to download the project summary