Possible Western Pennsylvania Link to Israeli Nukes Boosted

By Richard Gazarik

A recently declassified federal report bolsters a long-simmering Cold War theory that uranium was illegally shipped from an Armstrong County plant in 1965 to Israel to support its nuclear arms efforts.

The once-secret report by the General Accounting Office reveals the FBI initially refused to investigate the disappearance of 206 pounds of weapons-grade uranium-235 from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. — known as NUMEC — in Apollo.

That refusal led to widespread speculation the uranium, enough to build five nuclear weapons, was diverted to Israel with covert U.S. government assistance, the report states.

For decades, the fate of the missing NUMEC uranium has been the stuff of Western Pennsylvania legend.

Stories were spun — some based on fact, some based purely on conjecture — and books were penned about how the uranium vanished.

The release of this once top-secret report gives the first official glimpse into the government’s handling of “The Apollo Affair.”

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