Comparison of Iraqi Nuclear Weapon Potential With and Without Intrusive Inspections, end 2001 (Best estimate)

Weapon-Grade Uranium* (kg)No. of Nuclear Weapons
Scenario 1- No invasion of Kuwait, 1980s-type inspections34021
Scenario 2- Invasion of of Kuwait, 1980s-type inspections or no intrusive inspections1409
Scenario 3- Status Quo00

* Weapon-grade uranium is highly enriched uranium enriched over 90 percent in the isotope uranium 235 and the most desirable grade material for nuclear weapons.

Definition of the Scenarios

Scenario 1: This scenario reflects the probable progress of Iraqi nuclear weapon production if Iraq had not invaded Kuwait, and safeguards inspections similar to those used in the 1980s had continued.

Scenario 2: This case reflects a probable estimate of Iraqi nuclear weapon production if Iraq had invaded Kuwait, but UN Security Council-mandated inspections were not instituted or carried out for a short period. This case assumes economic and military sanctions would have remained in effect.

Scenario 3: This scenario represents the actual situation that included UN Security Council-mandated inspections. Following the departure of inspectors in 1998, Iraq is assessed to have reconstituted its nuclear weapons program, but it has not succeeded in making or acquiring enough highly enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons yet.