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By Christopher Busby, Bideford, introduced by John Helmer, Moscow

The neutron bomb was invented in 1958 by Samuel Cohen (lead image, left) of the Livermore Laboratory of California and then RAND.  

In 1984 he proposed that Israel construct a neutron radiation wall around the country. “What I am suggesting is the construction of a border barrier whose most effective component is an extremely intense field of nuclear radiation (produced by the operation of underground nuclear reactors), sharply confined to the barrier zone, which practically guarantees the death of anyone attempting to breach the barrier. Establishing such a ‘nuclear wall’ at the borders of a threatened country can make virtually impossible any successful penetration by ground forces – as well as a preemptive ground attack by the threatened country.”  

Cohen, who described himself as an “unbelieving Jew”, believed that by creating this radiation barrier around Israel, no Arab state army would attack. He also believed that by deterring that form of escalation, Cohen’s neutron wall would be protecting the US because, in the end, Cohen believed the US would abandon Israel to its fate if the US were threatened directly. “If the Soviets intrude again in an Arab-Israeli war, “ Cohen wrote, “this time with vastly improved nuclear capabilities to back up their actions, the survival of the United States would be at stake. Clearly this is a situation where it would be irrational—indeed, intolerable—for us to remain committed to Israel. Clearly, the most responsible thing the United States can do, to ensure its own security, is to make drastic changes in its military assistance to Israel (and to other Mideast countries as well) to prevent such a situation from ever arising. Otherwise, based on the wretched history of this turbulent arena, there is every reason to expect that one of these days a nuclear showdown will arise.”

What Cohen was proposing was a neutron bomb to be deployed by Israel except that, because there was no detonation, no explosion, he claimed there was no neutron bomb.

“During peacetime, the reactors (employed underground, for protection and safety) are operated on a continual basis, as are our power reactors. The neutrons produced by the fission reactions escape into a solution containing an element that, upon absorbing the neutrons, becomes highly radioactive and emits gamma rays (very high energy X-rays) at extremely high intensity. The radioactive solution is then passed into a series of pipes running along the barrier length in conjunction with conventional obstacle components—mines, Dragon’s Teeth, tank traps, barbed wire, etc. To the rear of the pipes and obstacle belts is a system of conventional defensive fortifications. (The obstacles, the firepower from the fortifications, and tactical air power all serve to impede the rate of advance of the attacker, increasing the attacker’s exposure to the gamma radiation. Vice versa, by quickly incapacitating the attacker, the radiation serves to make it difficult, or even impossible, for the attacker to remove the obstacles and assault the fortifications.) The width of the entire defensive system need be no more than a few miles.”

Since it was Cohen’s idea that the Palestinians and the Arabs were neither defending their lands or themselves, but were the “aggressors” against Israel, Cohen argued it was perfectly moral for the Israelis to use their neutron weapon “defensively”.

“Regarding the morality (or immorality) of such defensive use of nuclear radiation, one should keep in mind that the gamma rays themselves can, of course, have no intentions; nor is there necessarily any intent by those who produce them to kill anyone. The intent to kill has to lie with the aggressor—to kill himself. This contrasts sharply with the employment of conventional weapons, where there is every intent to kill the enemy. The basic purpose of the radiation is to deter the would-be aggressor from attacking; that is, to prevent war.”

Cohen thought a quick radiation death was more moral than a lingering one from conventional munition wounds.  

He also dismissed the idea that his radiation wall was a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) or a war crime. “The radiation barrier involves a pipe filled with radioactivity of controlled duration, installed on friendly soil for the purpose of self-defence, and whose radiation effects are constrained to a very narrow strip of unpopulated territory. Clearly, this cannot be called a weapon of mass destruction, and a radiation barrier could be constructed without any violation of existing or contemplated nuclear arms control treaties.”

While in Cohen’s case for the Israeli neutron weapon he believed it would deter tactical operations of the Hamas or Hezbollah-type incursions, he argued the bigger threat to Israel’s survival was that the US would not risk itself in a nuclear escalation with the Soviet Union, if escalation between Israel and the Arabs headed in that direction. Cohen didn’t mention Iran. He did say that the Kremlin was Israel’s strategic enemy.  

“For the United States to risk nuclear war by risking a confrontation with the Soviets in the Middle East would defy reason. This unhappy fact of life, if there is to be any sanity on the part of my country [US], excludes the possibility of US military intervention in the event of another Mideast war. Should Israel once again put itself in a position where its military forces threaten the integrity of an Arab country and should the USSR threaten to come to the aid of that country, Israel would have to be on its own. Considering the overwhelming military force the Soviets could bring to bear, this would place Israel in an untenable position whether or not it used nuclear weapons. The real threat to Israel in the future, if it continues with its past military doctrine, will thus be the Soviet Union, not the Arab nations, however powerfully they may arm themselves with conventional weapons. And this compels Israel to change its doctrine in favour of a guaranteed defence of its borders to ensure that they will never be placed in a position that brings the Soviets into an Arab-Israeli war.”

Cohen is dead. His tactical and strategic calculations are alive; they are secretly being recalculated at this moment. When US President Joseph Biden warned overnight that Israel’s military methods were threatening “[world] support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place”, and that “[Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] has to change, and with this government”,   Biden was  signalling the US will not escalate if the Israelis try to provoke it.

Cohen’s ghost – Russian intervention – is behind the Biden warning to Israel. “We continue to provide military assistance to Israel until they get rid of Hamas. But — but — we have to be careful,” Biden said twice. “Have to be careful.”  (Biden was also revealing his re-election calculation of donor money now, votes later, depends on it. )

What Biden and President Vladimir Putin secretly suspect is that Israel has already escalated to tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield, to genetic destruction warfare against the Palestinians,  —  and to something like the neutron bomb.

This is not the Cohen version of forty years ago. Nor is it the depleted uranium (DU) artillery shells and air-dropped DU bombs or rockets, which have been used for years by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in Gaza and Lebanon.

Here is the case, the physical evidence, that the Israelis are using a new type of uranium radiation weapon.

Christopher Busby is one of the leading nuclear physicists in Europe to have researched the long-range dispersal of depleted uranium weapons causing biochemical damage. His Wikipedia profile summarizes his background, his published work, and the controversies which have arisen.  

Busby and his colleagues conduct their research, publish their findings, and speak publicly through Green Audit, their Wales-based consultancy; for more detail, click.   Follow Busby on Twitter.  

Here is Busby’s latest research paper, entitled “Evidence for the use by Israel of a neutron uranium warhead in Palestine and Lebanon.”  For the full text and a discussion of the preceding research paper by Busby on depleted uranium weapons, click to read.  


Since 2003 measurements made by Green Audit in Fallujah, Iraq 2003, Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2008 have provided unequivocal evidence of Uranium residues which show anomalous Uranium U-238/U235 isotope signature ratios.  Results from independent laboratories in Europe and the UK, using different techniques, revealed the presence of enriched Uranium in biological materials and environmental samples including soil, bomb craters and air (as recorded in vehicle air filter dust). More recently, 2021 results published in the journal Nature, show that Uranium enrichment levels in background samples from Gaza have been increasing markedly since 2008. Since enriched Uranium is an anthropogenic substance which does not exist in nature, the question arises as to the source, in the weapons employed by the USA (Fallujah) and Israel (Lebanon, Gaza). It is proposed that the only logical answer is that a Uranium-based weapon exists that produces U-235 by neutron activation and has been deployed. Such a weapon must be some kind of neutron bomb.

1. Background

The issue of the health effects of Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions continues to be an area of significant scientific differences of opinion since the weapons began to be employed by the USA in Iraq in 1991, and later in the Balkans.  The authorities in the West, employing the risk model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) moved to deny the health effects which quickly emerged in Iraqi populations in the 1990s, including cancer increases and birth defects, by arguing that owing to its very low radioactivity, DU could not be considered as a cause [footnotes 1, 2, 3, 4]. However, similar increases in cancer were reported from the Balkans (Serbia), and later with reports of cancer and leukemia increasing in UN Italian and Portuguese KFOR peacekeeping soldiers stationed in areas of Kosovo where DU had been conceded by the USA to have been deployed. A survey by Green Audit of Kosovo in 2001 revealed the existence of DU particles in Djakove, Kosovo, and samples were analysed in the UK [5]. The isotope ratio, Uranium 238/Uranium-235, which in natural soils is 137.88, showed Depleted ratios as high as 300. Following complaints of US and UK Gulf War veterans of a range of conditions (termed Gulf War Syndrome) which they blamed on their exposure to DU dust (created when the penetrator weapons struck their target and burned) significant scientific interest turned to the issue. This led to searches for DU residues in war zones and in soldiers, resulting in surveys which confirmed the natural Uranium isotopic ratio U238/U235 as being 137.88. This contribution will not, however, rehearse the arguments about DU and health. It is concerned with a different investigation.

2. Lebanon 2006

In 2006, Israel bombed the Lebanon. Green Audit was contacted by Prof Ali Al Khobeisi, a physicist and member of the Lebanese Academy of Sciences. He was aware that Green Audit’s Christopher Busby was a member of the UK Ministry of Defence Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB) and part-author of the DUOB Minority Report [6]. He was concerned about gamma radiation measurements which he had made of a weapon crater in Khiam, Lebanon, which revealed an approximate 20-fold excess in gamma radiation dose rate, relative to background. Green Audit asked a colleague [Dai  Williams] to fly to the Lebanon, and obtain samples from the crater soil and possibly from an ambulance operating in Beirut, where some very large bombs had been dropped. Samples were brought back and analysed, using both alpha spectrometry in one laboratory and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) in a separate one. Later Prof Khobeisi came to the UK with further samples to discuss the issue at the Green Audit laboratory in Aberystwyth. The presence of Enriched Uranium in the Lebanon in 2006 became a Media issue when it was written up by the late Robert Fisk in The Independent: “Israel’s secret Uranium bomb” [7]. The UN sent a team to the Lebanon to take samples and Williams returned to also take samples so that split samples could be analysed. The Green Audit samples continued to show enriched Uranium, but the UN samples were said to show natural ratios. The issue has never been resolved. The Green Audit results are summarised in Table 1.

3. Gaza 2008

The issue of the enriched Uranium in the Lebanon had, by the time of the 2008 bombing of Gaza, been widely covered by media. In 2009, Green Audit was contacted by doctors in Gaza who were concerned about very unusual weapon effects seen in children and adults exposed to the flash from Israeli bombs and missiles. Busby arranged to visit Egypt to obtain samples, including vehicle filter samples. However, despite a cover letter from the President of International Doctors for the Environment in Belgium, the UK Foreign Office refused permission. Samples were nevertheless smuggled out of Gaza to the UK via the Irish Republic, and measurements made of the Uranium enrichment ratio. As in the Lebanon, results showed presence of enriched Uranium with values significantly lower than the natural 137.88 (see Table 1). To clarify — the values were lower, that is the ratio numbers. But the fraction of U235 was higher, i.e. more enriched. Natural is 137.88; the finding was 108 – that means more enrichment, more U235. The reciprocal 1/137.88 is the fraction of U235 in natural Uranium.

4. Fallujah Iraq, 2003

In 2010, a series of epidemiological and environmental studies were carried out to investigate reports of high levels of cancer and birth defects being reported by doctors in Fallujah, where there had been very concentrated bombardment of the town by the US forces in 2003 [8,9,10]. Following a questionnaire epidemiology study [10] which found alarming levels of genetic damage (cancer, birth defects, sex ratio disturbance) samples of hair from the parents of the birth defect children were obtained and analysed for 52 elements using ICPMS [Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry]. Results showed significantly raised levels of Uranium (relative to published and control values) but more important, indicated enriched Uranium signatures. The authors pointed out this anomalous finding and speculated that some new weapons had been deployed in the Fallujah bombardment [9].

5. Gaza 2021

 An important new study of samples of soil, sand, recycled building material from Gaza and sand from Sinai was published in 2021 [11]. Results indicated enriched Uranium in all the Gaza samples except those from Sinai. The method employed was gamma spectrometry which is arguably more accurate than alpha spectrometry or ICPMS since it is a whole specimen method and does not rely on pre-measurement chemistry which is known to lose up to 40% of the Uranium in the sample. The degree of enrichment found by the authors was very much greater than found in Gaza after the 2008 bombing. Gaza had also been bombed by Israel in 2014.

Table 1. Summary of Uranium Enrichment (atom Ratio) in all samples from Iraq and Palestine 2003-2021.

Event/ DateSampleMethod/LaboratoryU238/U235Reference
Fallujah 2003hairICPMS/Germany/Blaurock Busch132-135Busby [9]
Fallujah 2010soilICPMS/ Germany/ Braunschweig138Busby [9]
Lebanon 20061st  tripSoil crater,ICPMS/ Harwell 108116Busby/ Williams [12]
Lebanon 20062nd  samplesAmbulance   filterICPMS/ HarwellAlpha / Bangor123117Busby/ Williams [13,14]
Lebanon 20062nd samplesSoilU-234/U238 = 1.6U235 also U234 excessBusby/ Williams [13, 14]
Lebanon 20061st samplesCrater After explosion.Geiger counter20 x localbackgroundAl Khobeisi [12]
Lebanon 20062nd samplesCraterCR39 alpha2.4x alpha  + hot particlesBusby/ Williams [13, 14]
UN 2006Soil/craterICPMS/ SpiezNo anomalyUNEP [15]
Gaza 2008Ambulance filterICPMS/ Harwell 133Busby/Williams [13]
Gaza 2008Soil near craterICPMS/ Harwell 116 Busby/Williams [13]
Gaza 2021Demolition debrisGamma Spec./Germany109Abd El-Kader et al [11]
Gaza 2021Recycled plasterGamma Spec./Germany96Abd El-Kader et al[11]
Gaza 2021Recycled concreteGamma Spec./Germany103Abd El-Kader et al[11]
Gaza 2021SoilGamma Spec./Germany83Abd El-Kader et al[11]
Gaza 2021SandGamma Spec./Germany83Abd El-Kader et al[11]
Sinai 2021SandGamma Spec./Germany126Abd El-Kader et al[11]
Natural uraniumSoil etc 137.88Royal Society 2001 [1, 2], IAEA [4] DUOB [6]

 * Note: Isotope Ratio U238/U235 calculated from activity ratio reported assuming natural ratio in activity is 21.5

6. Natural Uranium in the environment.

Uranium as mined in the environment has three isotopes, U-238, U-235 and U-234. Once the importance for A-Bomb development of the fissile isotope U-235 was realised, various methods were employed from 1943 on to create massive projects to separate the U-235 from the natural Uranium. It was employed in the Atomic bomb in 1945 at Hiroshima. In passing,  it is of interest that in separating the U-235 using centrifuges, or methods relying on mass differences, the resulting enriched Uranium also had large quantities of the even lighter U-234, which is a decay product of U-238 (via two short lived isotopes, Thorium-234 and Protoactinium-234m) present in natural Uranium in activity equilibrium with the U-238. Thus, every decay of natural Uranium has the same activity of U-238 and U-234. After separation of the U-235, the resulting Uranium is termed Depleted Uranium, or DU. It is, of course radioactive, and so must be disposed of by law as a radioactive substance. Its activity is considered low, 12.4 million decays per second (Becquerel) per kilogram, and since these decays are alpha particle decays which cannot penetrate skin, it only represents a health hazard if internalised by ingestion or inhalation.

It must be stressed: if enriched Uranium is found in environmental samples, the origin has to be from an enrichment plant or some anthropogenic process. It is not natural. Since enriched Uranium has been turning up in the Middle East, and increasingly so in Gaza, the question arises, where is it from?

7. Enriched Uranium in Gaza, the Lebanon and Iraq.

Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.

                                      – Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon News Briefing, Feb 2002 

There are many questions relating to the findings of Enriched Uranium in Lebanon, Gaza and Fallujah. But logic points to only one overall conclusion, in Rumsfeld terms, a thing we know we know. This is that U-235 is in clear and statistically significant excess: it is present in the samples. In the case of the recent 2021 Gaza study, it is definitely there in 55 of 69 samples. The only samples where it is not clearly present are the 14 samples from Sinai, that is, not from Gaza, and the Sinai results may therefore be employed as a control group tro show clearly that there is enriched Uranium in Gaza.

We also know that U-235 in excess can only come from anthropogenic sources:

  • It can be separated from natural Uranium by employing centrifuges or other technical means, on the basis of its slightly lower atomic mass.
  • It can be produced by neutron activation. That is the irradiation of U-234 with neutrons. Such a production occurs in a nuclear explosion, or in a nuclear reactor.
  • According to the late Prof Emilio Del Guidice (see below [16]) it can also be produced by the irradiation of U-238 with neutrons, leading to the formation of U-239 which may lose an alpha particle and produce U-235. The normal decay product of U-239 is Plutonium-239.

Following logical questions, if U-235 is found in the three locations in the Middle East shown in Table 1, there are only two possibilities:

  1. The Israelis dropped U-235, enriched Uranium, which they had produced in Israel or purchased in bombs or other Uranium weapons. Why would they do this?
  2. The Israelis employed a weapon which contained U-238 but which produced U-235 as part of a nuclear explosion. Such a weapon must produce neutrons, and would be designated a neutron bomb.

The first of these possibilities can be discarded: to drop enriched Uranium on your enemy is absurd. It is expensive. It is like killing your enemy by dropping diamonds. Enriched Uranium reportedly was valued at £250,000 a kilogram in the 1990s [17]. This leaves result (2), which is that the source of the U-235 is a neutron-producing bomb.

8. Neutron Bomb

The known knowns

This contribution will not provide a review of what is known about neutron bombs. The Rumsfeld known known here is that they were apparently invented by Samuel Cohen who worked for the Rand Corporation and argued that the employment of an Enhanced Radiation Weapon which killed with neutrons was an efficient war method.  It killed enemy personnel who were sheltering behind concrete walls or in bunkers without destroying the buildings or infrastructure providing shelter. Cohen argued for the use of neutron bombs in Vietnam, but the proposal was not accepted for political and military reasons; Cohen then left the Rand Corporation which employed him. Later in the Reagan period, Cohen returned to work under Reagan and the USA began to manufacture neutron warheads for anti-ballistic missile systems. By the 1990s it was generally conceded that all the major nuclear states had neutron bombs in their stockpiles. This included Israel which, according to whistle-blowers like Mordecai Vanunu had tested a neutron bomb in South Africa [18]. However, the design of the Cohen-type warhead was fairly conventional. It was merely a conventional U-235 warhead of low yield without a Uranium-238 DU tamper case to reflect the initial neutron burst back into the system and thus increase the yield. It contained Tritium and Deuterium in some form (Lithium deuteride?) and relied on a fusion reaction to create Helium-4 and release neutrons. In this case, the yield (kT TNT) was not the object. The creation of lethal neutron exposures is what is aimed for. In passing, neutrons have between tenfold and hundredfold biological effectiveness, and so would also be a perfect weapon for those wishing to destroy the genetic integrity, fertility, and longevity (cancer, etc.) of an enemy civilian population.

The known unknowns: the Cold Fusion warhead—Red Mercury

We know that there are things we know that we don’t know. But there are pieces of evidence that suggest strongly that there is a new weapon that involves Uranium, which creates enriched Uranium and which employs cold fusion which was reportedly invented by the Soviet Union at some time in the 1980s and produced in the 1990s. In the 1990s there were widely discussed reports and statements about a new radioactive weapon based on a material called Red Mercury. The UK Channel 4 produced a documentary about this weapon in which they consulted with Dr Frank Barnaby to see if there could be some explanation. Did Red Mercury exist? What was it? Could it form the basis for a bomb (which one Russian expert told them was the size of a ball point pen cap but could destroy Moscow) [17]. Apparently Red Mercury was a chemical compound, Mercury Antimony Oxide (Hg2 Sb2 O7 ) that had been placed in a reactor for some weeks, was radioactive, and potentially could explode with the level of energy that could destroy Moscow and so forth. Later, after this documentary, the idea that such a weapon was likely or possible was dismissed by the scientific community. Perhaps rightly so. Nevertheless, Cohen stated that he believed it possible. But there were some interesting pieces of information about Red Mercury that emerged for those who knew what was important.

Interestingly, Cohen referred to a “ballotechnic” mechanism for Red Mercury. This is an explosive that releases energy on impact purely as a result of impact pressure.

These included:

  • The material was being sold at £250,000 a kilogram, and the Soviets were selling it: there were orders and other documents seen by Channel 4.
  • The material was very dense, the density was 20g/cc.
  • The Soviet code word for Enriched Uranium in the 1940s was “Red Mercury”.
  • Cohen, who would know, referred to an impact initiation weapon as a “ballotechnic”.

It is not difficult to conclude from this that Red Mercury was, in fact, some kind of Uranium which had been processed in some way. Mercury has a density of 13.5, Antimony 6.7 and it is hard to see how a compound of the two could have a density of 20 after irradiation with neutrons for 3 weeks. It is chemically impossible. Uranium does have a density of around 20. In which case, why was this Red Mercury idea started? It is easy to speculate that it was a cover for a real weapon, a novel and very small nuclear weapon based on what was already known; indeed, what Cohen is unlikely not to have known.

The Cold Fusion Neutron Bomb

The fusion of Tritium and Deuterium to give Helium-4, a neutron and huge amounts of energy has been, and remains, the Holy Grail of Physics. The energy of fusion produces enormous temperatures, no nuclear waste in the form of fission products like Strontium-90 and Caesium-137 and the reaction is the one which powers the Sun. But the temperatures involved are so great that the problem is how to constrain the reaction. Normal materials will vaporise and so the reaction must either be very short and/or constrained in a magnetic field. Unless constraint is not the object.

In the 1980s Fleischmann at Southampton (UK) and Pons in the US claimed to have brought about fusion by electrolysing Deuterium Oxide with Palladium electrodes [19]. The experiment was repeated by the Harwell laboratory in Oxford (the UK government’s Atomic Energy Authority laboratory) and reported not to have occurred.  Since then, the question of cold fusion has continued to exercise the scientific community [19].

Shortly after the Green Audit report on Enriched Uranium in Lebanon, the author was contacted by a Italian physicist, Emilio Del Guidice [16] who travelled to London to discuss his ideas about the finding.

The bomb, he suggested, is a version of cold fusion discovered by Fleischmann. This author worked with Fleischmann in 1979 on the Raman spectrum of adsorbed water and to know him slightly.  Del Guidice said that Uranium dissolves hydrogen (or Deuterium or Tritium) which then becomes trapped in the matrix. This is plausible as the Uranium atom (mass 238) is very large compared with hydrogen (mass 1) so there is a lot of space in the crystal, also a lot of electrons in the outer shell of the Uranium. Del Guidice believed that if the Uranium laced with hydrogen hit a target and deformed whilst also burning at a very high temperature, there would be fusion. In this case (he said) the 14MeV neutron produced would knock the U-238 up to a metastable U-239 and this would decay to U-235 with emission of an alpha particle. The reaction he referred to is

T2 + D2 ===>n(0) + He4 + 14MeV

This seemed unlikely as U-239 normally decays to Plutonium-239.  Plutonium-239 decays to U-235 with an alpha decay, but with a long half life. But what is certainly in the Uranium is U-234. This would take up a neutron to give U-235. This reaction is a much more likely source of U-235. The second problem with the Del Guidice bomb is that hydrogen does not dissolve in Uranium. It may have been that (as an Italian) Del Guidice did not choose the correct English term.  

If you heat Uranium metal to 300 degrees it reacts with hydrogen to give Uranium hydride UH3. Presumably then also Deuterium and Tritium. These are molecular species, not as Del Guidice told me, a solution or an interstitial affair. When the system gets above about 700 degrees the hydrides decompose back to Uranium and hydrogen. This is the basis for a nuclear power system which cannot melt down as the neutron moderator, hydrogen, reversibly leaves the Uranium and stops the reactor. It was also the basis for the Teller Uranium Hydride bombs, which were discarded as having too low a explosive yield. Neutrons are stopped by low atomic number elements, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Hydrogen. They pass through high atomic number elements (e.g. in concrete). They are stopped ballistically not ionically as they carry no charge. Their relative biological effectiveness (ionisation) results from the kinetic energy they impart to hydrogen in water. As already stated, it is about 100 (alpha is 20).

So a plausible method may be: a mix of Depleted Uranium is made with varying quantities of UT3 and UD3. When these are heated up, by explosive or just by impact they undergo fusion, as Del Guidice believed, producing a massive neutron release of 14MeV,  and to a lesser extent 3.5MeV plus an alpha particle. There is no tamper, as with thermonuclear, so the neutrons are not reflected back into the bomb but are allowed to escape. The device is very small and low yield. It is reported that countries like Israel and the US had neutron land mines and shells. The key is the very low yield explosion (tons of TNT).

If the neutron activation of U-238 is the case, or partly the case, then there will be Plutonium-239. In the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board, it was reported that Pu-239 was measured in DU residues, also U236, but this was explained away as due to contamination in the source material. However, no Plutonium was found in the Lebanon samples [13].

This weapon is arguably the fabled Red Mercury. It would be small; there is no initiator as it is an impact weapon, although versions with initiators might also exist. It would be produced from Uranium reacted with Tritium and Deuterium in some ratio, and possibly with an alloying substance like Niobium (found in excess by Green Audit in the Gaza samples).

Unknown Unknowns

For obvious reasons, little can be listed here. However, the Del Guidice outline of a neutron bomb may be only one version of the system. There may be other initiator processes. It is pointless speculating further here. It is hoped that someone in the military will provide or be obliged to provide further details.

9. How might this issue be investigated?

Of course, there will be activation products in local materials, soil,  concrete etc. Green Audit obtained some concrete from the Baghdad airport after the US killed the Republican Guardsmen who were defending it. However, there was no money to measure anything, and by the time the material came to England any excess induced radiation will have decayed. Green Audit was told by Iraqis that there was a big flash and the airport defenders were all found dead in their bunkers the next day. The US would not let IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] in to measure anything for six months, fenced the site off,  and removed the debris into the desert. Note that Cobalt-60 is an activation product which would have been in the steel, metal guns, metal shielding, reinforcing rods,  etc. There would be residual gamma radiation at the impact site. There could still be residual Tritiated water and Carbon-14 contamination.

The late Prof Ali Khobeisi measured residual gamma in the Khiam Lebanon crater in 2006, radiation which disappeared over six weeks; it was about twenty times background. That is a reasonable decay period for the immediate neutron activation products in soil (except Co-60 in steel). Table 2 gives a list of methods that can be employed to identify the use of a neutron bomb.

Table 2. What methods can be employed to investigate the use of a neutron weapon?

Residue/ investigationMeasured byNote
Geiger Counter shows excess gamma dose rateGeiger Counter, portable scintillation counterA simple cheap Geiger counter will do this, Compare with background away from crater.
Tritium oxide (Tritiated water in pool in craterBeta scintillation countingRequires dedicated lab/ expensive
Carbon-14 excess in water in pool in craterBeta scintillation countingRequires dedicated lab/ expensive
U-235 excess in soil at impact site/ in vehicle air filtersAlpha spectrometry, gamma spectrometry, ICPMSRequires dedicated lab/ expensive. But already done.
Cobalt-60 in steel near craterGamma spectrometryStrong emissions at 1173 and 1332 keV are easily detected. Half life 2.6y.A good portable gamma spectrometry NaI crystal is good enough, or else a laboratory with cooled detectors.
Other activation products, e.g. Zn-65, Ca-45.Gamma spectrometry will find Zn-65Requires dedicated lab/ expensive
Pu-239, U-236Alpha and gamma spectrometryRequires dedicated lab/ expensive

10. Health effects

This contribution would not be complete without touching on the health effects seen in populations where these weapons have been deployed. If the weapons caused exposures to (a) neutrons and (b) Uranium aerosol particles, then it would be expected that there would be genetic effects and immediate effects involving severe burns or even vaporised human limbs. Some reports of unusual flash burns have been seen by Green Audit in the Lebanon bombing, and  recently in Gaza. For Fallujah the genetic effects identified were profound, and included congenital malformations, high rates of cancer and leukemia, and a skewed birth sex ratio [8,10].

For Gaza, there have been several reports of excess birth defects together with measurements of elements in hair, including Uranium [20,21]. The authors have not singled out Uranium as a cause, but rather seem to have believed that the effects were due to some “heavy metal” effect. It is reasonable from the Fallujah results and other studies of the Iraq and Balkan populations, that these weapons are in effect genetic destruction weapons.

Conclusion and further investigation.

An inevitable deduction from the consistent findings of enriched Uranium in samples from Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq, is that a neutron weapon of some kind has been employed since the second Gulf War, and possible before then. This is an Israeli (and US) secret weapon, as was reported by Robert Fisk in The Independent in 2006 [7]. The increases in congenital effects seen in the Fallujah population [8,9,10] and also in Gaza [20,21] can plausibly have resulted from exposure to neutrons as well as to the Uranium particulate aerosols. The weapon is ideal for armies employed in methodological destruction both of fighters hidden in urban environments (where neutrons pass through walls) and for any state which has the aim of destroying the civilian population using a genetic mutation weapon (cancer, fertility loss, birth defects). It is, however, a nuclear weapon,  and those deploying it are using a nuclear weapon against civilian populations as part of a project to destroy an enemy state population without acknowledging this. This is a war crime.

Some anticipated problems

Fake News

The problem that exists is that the laboratories where samples are measured, using the very expensive equipment necessary to obtain relevant results,  are mostly funded directly or indirectly by government and the nuclear military complex. Furthermore, as this author found in the case of the UN investigation of the Lebanon craters, the laboratories used by the UN —  in this case the Spiez lab in Switzerland —  which measured the split samples obtained by Green Audit in 2006 do not tell the truth.

Furthermore, as this author also knows, scientific journals often either refuse to publish contributions which address such politically sensitive topics, or else their reviewers dismiss the reported results. In the case of a recent paper reporting increases in Uranium from the Ukraine war in February March 2022, found in High Volume Air Samplers deployed at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, UK,   which was sent to two journals, the first journal flatly refused to accept it, the second sent it to a reviewer who then dismissed it. Yet the raw data demonstrating the significant increase in Uranium particles in the air were supplied to the journals: it is impossible for the journals and reviewers not to have understood the implications.

False narratives

 It is anticipated that the military forces and governments deploying such a weapon will have to explain the findings of Enriched Uranium in areas where their weapons have been used. The most likely, and indeed the only option in explanation, will be for scientists employed by these organisations to claim, falsely, that Enriched Uranium is a common material in environmental samples. This is plainly untrue. Uranium isotope ratios have been reported from thousands of sites, but when either Depleted or Enriched signatures are found there is always an anthropogenic origin. Indeed the constancy of the natural isotope ratio of 137.88 was the basis of a five-year  study of urine samples among Gulf War veterans exposed to DU. It was the official pressure to reassure the veterans that they had not been exposed to DU that results above 140 were chosen as an indicator of exposure [6]. Other sites where slightly enriched Uranium isotope ratios can be found are near nuclear reprocessing and nuclear materials production plants. If they are found in Gaza and Lebanon samples, there is only one explanation.

The public

The public have access to simple methodology and to inexpensive Geiger Counters, and with these at the least they can record radiation increases near any impact site; they may then report this on videoclips which they can upload to the internet. This will assist in researching the use of the neutron weapon because it is now a large ethical and public health issue worldwide.


1. Royal Society (2001) The Health Effects of Depleted Uranium Munitions. Part 1. London: Royal Society

2. Royal Society (2002) The Health Effects of Depleted Uranium Munitions. Part 2. London: Royal Society

3. World Health Organization (2001) Depleted Uranium: sources exposures and health effects. Geneva: WHO  

4. International Atomic Energy Agency. Depleted Uranium  

5. Green Audit (2001) Depleted Uranium in Kosovo Samples. Commissioned Report for Nippon TV Japan (Unpublished)

6. Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB) (2007) Final Report of the UK Ministry of Defence Depleted Uranium Oversight Board.

7. Robert Fisk, The Independent. The mystery of Israel’s secret Uranium bomb.

8. ALAANI, S., AL-FALLOUJI, M., BUSBY, C*., HAMDAN, M.. Pilot study of congenital anomaly rates at birth in Fallujah, Iraq, 2010. Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, North America, 44, Aug. 2012. Available at: <http://jima.imana.org/article/view/10463>.

9. Alaani Samira Tafash Muhammed, Busby Christopher*, Hamdan, Malak and Blaurock-Busch Eleonore  (2011) Uranium and other contaminants in hair from the parents of children with congenital anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq Conflict Health  5, 1-15

10. Busby, Chris*; Hamdan, Malak; Ariabi, Entesar. (2010) Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 7: 2828-2837.

11. Abd Elkader MA, Shinonaga T, Sherif MM (2021) Radiological hazard assessments of radionuclides in building materials, soils and sands from yhe Gaza strip and the north of the Sinai peninsula. Nature Scientific Reports (2011) 11:23251.

12. Busby C and Williams D (2006) Evidence of Enriched Uranium inn guided weapons deployed by the Israeli military in Lebanon in July 2006. Green Audit Research Note 6/2006, Oct 20 2006. Aberystwyth: Green Audit.

13. Busby C, Williams D (2006) Further evidence of enriched Uranium in guided weapons employed by the Israeli Military in Lebanon in July 2006. Ambulance air filter analysis. Green Audit Research Note 7/2006, November 3 2006 Aberystwyth : Green Audit.

14.Vignard K (2008) Disarmament Forum 3. Uranium Weapons. Geneva: UNIDIR

15. Williams D (2006) Eos weapons study in Lebanon, September 2006-Interim Report. Eos Surrey UK.  www. eoslifework.co.uk

16. Emilio Del Guidice, Theoretical Physicist 1940-2014. See https://en.wikipedia.org>wiki>Emilio_del_Guidice

17. Dr Frank Barnaby. Interviewed in Channel 4 Documentary 1993 Does Red Mercury Exist? Despatches goes on its trail. Youtube: https://youtu.be/ESCTZETN4-8?si=ZIIXVIegTNBUhjrZ

18. Wikipedia entry for Neutron Bomb has considerable information relevant to the discussion. See: https://en.wikipedia.org>wiki>Neutron

19. See: https://en.wikipedia.org>wiki>cold_fusion and loc.cit.

20.Naim A, Al Dalies H, El Balawi M et al (2012) Birth defects in Gaza: prevalence, types, Familiarity and correlation with environmental factors. IJERPH 9(5) 1732-1747

21 ManducaP, Daib SY, Qouta SR (2017) A cross sectional study of the relationship between exposure of pregnant women to military attacks in 2014 in Gaza and the load of heavy metals in the hair of mothers and newborns. BMJ Open 7(7) e014035.

NOTE: The lead image right is an illustration of the destruction of Gaza by the IDF as of December 1, reported by Scientific American and based on analysis of radar imagery satellite technology.   Click on the URL to enlarge the picture. The report reveals that Israel is putting pressure on commercial satellite companies to withhold their satellite pictures of Gaza “to reduce the potential for misuse and abuse.”

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