10. THE MYTH OF THE "PEACEFUL ATOM" --
U.S. & U.K. BREAK
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which the United States and
the United Kingdom are signatories, calls for a clear distinction between
civil and military nuclear technologies. Specifically, Article VI of
the treaty forbids the use of civil nuclear byproducts, such as reactor
wastes, in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The Israelis used this
provision of the treaty as an excuse for the bombing of a nuclear reactor
in Iraq. The same thinking would suggest that the next target for Israeli
bombers might well be Great Britain.
-- In 1958, the U.S. and U.K. signed a Mutual Defense Agreement.
As part of this agreement, six to seven tons of plutonium from civilian
reactors in Great Britain have been shipped to the United States for
use in the manufacture of nuclear weapons; an open violation of the
-- U.S. energy secretary, Donald Hodel, has admitted that two to
three tons of this plutonium has been made into nuclear warheads some
of which are currently deployed on Cruise missiles in England;
-- Dr. Ross Hesketh, a research physicist who began working with
the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in England in 1959,
became concerned about the use of civil plutonium for military purposes
and began to protest publicly in 1981;
-- After a campaign of systematic harassment, Hesketh was fired in
June of 1983; a subsequent storm of public protest resulted in his
rehiring by the CEGB, tantamount to an admission of guilt on their
part; Hesketh later resigned from the CEGB and now is director of
the European Proliferation Information Center;
-- The CEGB has consistently denied that plutonium produced in their
reactors has ever been used in weapons; however, Lord Christopher
Hinton, director of the CEGB from 1957-1964 said of that assertion:
"I am absolutely certain that that statement is incorrect ...
they shouldn't tell 'bloody lies'...."
The International Atomic Agency relies on the example of the great
superpowers to put validity in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Third World
nations already view the Non-Proliferation Treaty with great cynicism.
Now, the overt hypocrisy of the U.S. and the U.K. in ignoring Article
VI gives a perfect excuse to any nation wishing to use its civil nuclear
facilities to make bombs.
SANITY, November 1984, "Plutonium Lies;" pp 33-34; and press
releases, correspondence, and articles which appeared in British publications
during 1984 (including THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, NEW SCIENTIST, THE GUARDIAN,
FINANCIAL TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, NEW SOCIETY, and NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
INTERNATIONAL) from Mr. David Lowry, Researcher, Energy Research Group,
The Open University, Milton Keynes, England.