Indeed, one Israeli scientist familiar with the Israeli nuclear program suggests that it was a plutonium processing facility because the speed with which the Syrians buried the site following the strike, suggesting that the Israelis may have caused significant damage to whatever containment was in place and the Syrians were trying to literally bury the evidence.
Tel Aviv University chemistry professor Uzi Even, who worked in the past at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor, said satellite pictures of the site taken before the Israeli strike on Sept. 6 showed no sign of the cooling towers and chimneys characteristic of reactors.The fact that everyone is remaining mum on what would otherwise be an incident on the scale of the Osirak raid in Iraq by Israel in 1981 suggests that something quite important was hit, but something that no one wants to talk about.
Even said the absence of telltale features of a reactor convinced him the building must have housed something else. And a rush by the Syrians after the attack to bury the site under tons of soil suggests the facility was a plutonium processing plant and they were trying to smother lethal doses of radiation leaking out.
Israel has maintained an almost total official silence over the strike, which Syria said hit an unused military installation. But foreign media reports, some quoting unidentified U.S. officials, have said the strike hit a nuclear facility made with North Korean help and modeled on the North's Yongbyon reactor.