International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspectors have discovered particles from an undeclared uranium supply at a research reactor in Syria. According to IAEA, in May 2009, it received the results of the analysis of routine environmental samples taken in August 2008 at Miniature Neutron Reactor Source facility in Damascus. The results proved the presence of particles of anthropogenic natural uranium, a type not declared at the facility, inside the hot cells and from associated equipment.

IAEA said that in the previous week, Syria provided a response to the discovery which did not address the presence and origin of the anthropogenic uranium, which it had requested additional explanation from Damascus.

The result followed the IAEA’s 2008 discovery of uranium traces at a suspected nuclear reactor site at Dair Alzour. Israel has destroyed the facility in a September 2007 airstrike, which Damascus denied was nuclear in nature.

The existence of a possible connection between these particles and those found at the Dair Alzour site requires further analysis by the agency, the IAEA report states.

The uranium results indicate that Syria might have redirected nuclear material originally intended for the bombed Dair Alzour facility to a small-scale reprocessing experiment at the Damascus reactor, as per an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security.

In a February 2009 letter to IAEA, Syria has provided information about the procurement of certain equipment and materials, specifically the water pumping equipment observed at the Dair Alzour site, a large quantity of graphite and large quantities of barium sulphate, the report states, referring to materials that could indicate the existence of a nuclear reactor.

According to report, Syria indicated that the procurement efforts were civilian and non-nuclear in nature and related, respectively, to civil water purification, the domestic Syrian steel industry and shielding material for radiation therapy centers and IAEA has requested additional details on the acquisitions to help confirm the Syrian claim.

The information provided by Syria to date does not adequately support its assertion about the nature of the site, the IAEA report said. In order for the agency to complete its assessment, Syria needs to be more cooperative and transparent.