THE PLUMBAT AFFAIR by Elaine; Paul Eddy & Peter Gillman Davenport


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The story of Israel's secret Massad operation to bring 200 tons of uranium rote Israel from Belgium. First Israel built its ""peaceful"" nuclear power plant under tight security in the Negev Desert (their own strayed plane was shot down to keep the plant a secret), and then the Israelis found that the plant needed fuel for the reactor if it was to produce enough plutonium by-product for making bombs. Massad mocked up a front company, or blind, and approached a Belgian uranium manufacturer which was willing to sell the 200 tons only if the fissionable material remained within the European Common Market and under Euratom surveillance. The Massad front agreed but said that the uranium had to be shipped by boat to Morocco (an Arab city, ha!) to be treated before it could be used by their ""Italian"" company in Milan. On November 17, 1968, a shabby cargo ship, the Scheersberg A, was loaded with 560 metal drums (meaningless labeled ""Plumbat"") and sailed out of Antwerp, bound for Genoa, Italy--and vanished. Over two weeks later the ship arrived at the Turkish port of Iskenderum, quite empty, and was promptly abandoned by captain and crew. The mystery behind this act has remained until publication of the present book by three reporters of the London Sunday Times. Israel has built her bomb, though it remains untested (everybody knows it will work). Bristles with irony and fascinating detail.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1978
Publisher: Lippincott