The facility is surrounded by a sand berm four miles (6.4 km) around and 160 feet (50 m) high, and contained the French-built research reactor Osiraq, destroyed by Israel in 1981 before it went online.
In April 2003, U.S. Marines discovered the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center and told reporters that they may have discovered a secret nuclear facility. The AP cited an expert who said that such a claim was implausible, and suggested that what actually happened is that the Marines broke the IAEA seals "designed to ensure the materials aren't diverted for weapons use - or end up in the wrong hands. 'What happened apparently was that they broke IAEA seals, which is very unfortunate because those seals are integral to ensuring that nuclear material doesn't get diverted,' the expert said, speaking on condition of anonymity." (AP 10 April 2003)
On May 3, 2003, a detachment of U.S. Special Forces led by United States Navy Commander David Beckett and eight nuclear experts from the United States Department of Defense's Direct Support Team conducted a survey of the facility, finding the looting, similar to the situation in the nearby Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center.
During the initial months of the occupation, Tuwaitha was protected by American forces and administered by contractors from the Raytheon Corporation. Complete control of the facility was turned over to Iraqi authorities in the Summer of 2004.
Source documents Verified nuclear materials. 500 tons natural uranium, 1.8 tons partially enriched, and 300 tons of medical radioactive materials ie caesium for blue glow dirty bombs.
Mohamed ElBaradei: Iraq should get one final chance?
Tuwaitha general documents http://www.iaea.org/googleResult.html?cx=004828748078731094376%3Am_jpm98tdns&cof=FORID%3A11&q=tuwaitha&sa.x=-12&sa.y=5&sa=Submit#942