Friday, July 01, 2005
A Darker Purpose

An older article in the Observer brought to light the close co-operation between British and American nuclear scientists. Interchanges between the Lawrence Livermore laboratories and Aldermaston have been explained as research into ways of maintaining the existing arsenal. However, the details appear to indicate a wider and intricate web of co-operation:

The figures reveal that British scientists visited key US nuclear laboratories on 180 occasions last year. In the same period US nuclear experts made 128 separate visits to Aldermaston, the Berkshire base where Britain's nuclear weapons are stored. Parliamentary answers also confirm UK and US nuclear scientists are currently on 16 joint working groups, including 'nuclear weapons engineering' and 'nuclear weapon code development'. A major meeting between scientists on both sides of the Atlantic is thought to be scheduled this year and is likely to be held in England.

The British American Security Information Council has verified that the Mutual Defence Agreement ratifying nuclear co-operation between the United Kingdom and the United States is up for renegotiation. There is a move by the disarmament movement to demand a legal review of this agreement in line with the requirements of teh Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Given the asymmetric threats that Britain faces, new research and better weapons appears a more suitable goal than disarming in the face of unknown and potentially fatal threats.


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