Idaho National Laboratory News Release
August 4, 2005

Ethan Huffman, 208-526-0660,

Former Iraqi nuclear scientist to speak at INL

Idaho National Laboratory is hosting former Iraqi nuclear scientist and author Dr. Mahdi Obeidi for a public discussion on Iraq’s former nuclear program, and its attempts to build a nuclear weapon. Obeidi will speak to the public at University Place Auditorium in Idaho Falls, Idaho on Tuesday Aug. 9, at 9 a.m.

In his book, "The Bomb in My Garden," Obeidi details what life was like working for Saddam Hussein. As the senior director for Iraq’s nuclear program, he asserts that the most sensitive and significant pieces of Iraq’s nuclear program - including the designs for key components and prototypes for nuclear production - were buried from inspectors for more than a decade under a lotus tree in his backyard.

During his tenure, Obeidi was the creator and director of Iraq’s centrifuge technology, a key component for enriching bomb-grade uranium. According to Obeidi, it is the most dangerous piece of nuclear technology because it allows uranium enrichment to be concealed in a single location.

Today, he is a lawful resident alien of the United States and works to create awareness in the international community about nuclear proliferation issues.

The public is encouraged to attend this event, however, seating will be limited to a first-come, first-serve basis. Obeidi will be available for media interviews following his presentation.

Idaho National Laboratory is a Department of Energy mulitiprogram national laboratory that performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE - environment, science, energy and defense. INL is the nation’s leading center of nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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