Germany’s Heavy Water Laundry

In early May of this year, Norway confirmed that a German company had diverted 15 tons of its “heavy water” from international controls in 1983. Heavy water, or deuterium oxide, is tightly controlled because it can be used in reactors to make plutonium, a nuclear weapon material. In 1985, the same German company diverted a shipment of 6.8 tons of Soviet heavy water, putting it on a series of air flights destined for India. Also in 1983, the company apparently diverted to India about 5.5 more tons of heavy water that the company had imported previously and accumulated.

After the diversions were discovered, Norway and Switzerland publicly asked Germany to investigate. However, Germany refused –it even refused to ask the company where the heavy water went. Because the company operates under German law, and used German import certificates as part of its illegal scheme, Germany’s refusal to investigate is quite serious. It raises the question 3 whether Germany is fulfilling its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

To read the complete report, click here:  Germany’s Heavy Water Laundry