HL Deb 05 July 1993 vol 547 c44WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in granting export permission for reactor-grade plutonium to Japan, they have borne in mind that the United States Government has manufactured and detonated a bomb made from reactor-grade plutonium.

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

The usefulness of reprocessed plutonium for weapons purposes depends on its composition. It is not in the public interest for me to comment further, nor is it for me to speculate on what nuclear tests may have been carried out by the United States. The important points are that all reactor grade plutonium is held in secure conditions while in this country and that any trade in it is subject to stringent internationally accepted standards of safeguards and physical protection. Her Majesty's Government would only allow the export of plutonium from reprocessing if we had received satisfactory assurances that it would only be used for peaceful non-explosive purposes.