Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2014
Just days before leaders of 53 nations met at The Hague to develop strategies for securing world nuclear materials, four activists broke into a nuclear weapons base in the Netherlands holding US B-61 nuclear gravity bombs. The “Disarm” group entered the Volkel Air Base, one of five European bases that house US H-bombs, and photographed the exterior of the building believed to contain the weapons.
A representative of the anti-nuclear group PAX said the activists entered the base to point out that the Nuclear Security Summit called by President Obama would ignore the military weapons-grade material, which represents 85 percent of all nuclear materials, and focus only on securing against terrorists the radioactive material used for civilian purposes.
Leading arms control and nonproliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis expressed alarm at the lack of security that allowed the protesters to access the base, writing on his blog: “The incursions would seem to demonstrate the 2008 finding by the US Air Force Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures that ‘most sites [in Europe where US nuclear weapons are stored] require significant additional resources to meet [Department of Defense] security requirements.’”
During the Nuclear Security Summit itself on March 24th and 25th, 60 anti-nuclear weapons protesters were arrested while trying to deliver a letter stating their concerns to world leaders. Their message: “Nuclear security, yes! So disarm, and certainly no new nukes!” — ASP
— NPS Global Foundation, Mar. 27; Frits ter Kuile, Amsterdam Catholic Worker, mail communication, Apr. 12, 2014
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