HC Deb 09 April 1986 vol 95 cc126-7W
Mr. Chris Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether any civil plutonium exported from Britain to the United States of America is to be used in the testing of the Excalibur X-ray nuclear-pulsed laser programme undertaken by the United States Department of Energy at the Lawrence Livermore laboratories at the University of California; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if, in the light of the plans set out in its 1987 fiscal appropriations by the United States Department of Energy to redesignate all plutonium in its civil programme as military, he intends to advise the United States Government that such a step in relation to the plutonium of British origin would be contrary to Her Majesty's Government's policy on the use of civil material in military programmes; if he will draw up special arrangements under the 1959 amendment to the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement to prohibit any such future transfer; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad

The United States' authorities have said that none of the plutonium exported prior to 1971 under the Mutual Defence Agreement has been used in weapons, and this continues to be their policy. Her Majesty's Government remain content to rest on these statements by the United States.

Back to
Forward to