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Teacher, activist, interested in energy technology, climate change, environmental issues and global security.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Secret Swedish Nuclear Arms Program Produced Plutonium For Several Nuclear Warheads

                                         Olkiluoto -1 and -2 were build by a Swedish (originally) nuclear arms company
                                         AB ASEA-ATOM (Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

This is no news for many people - years ago it has been revealed that Sweden had its own nuclear arms program that has up to 100 nuclear warheads as a goal. But for me this was a real schock when I found out that the peace-loving, anti-Vietnam-war-Swedes turned out to be secretly manufacturing  plutonium for bombs in several "experimental" reactors.

And this activity continued decades after Sweden had signed the international Non-Proliferation Treaty that forbid any kind of nuclear arms manufacturing. It was not until mid 1990ies when Swedish plutonium producing capable reactors were taken totally out of use. They had been kept in reserve - capable of producing bomb grade plutonium.

It was this year, March 27th 2012, when Sweden transported the rest (really all?) of its plutonium to the USA in a top secret operation that was planned for years with the American colleques. 3,3 kg of plutonium and about 9 kg of natural and depleted uranium was shipped to US officials.

Sweden had made (or partly bought from abroad) 24,4 kg of plutonium according to SKI, but the "research" reactor R3 was planned to produce 20 - 23 kg of bomb grade plutonium per year. Nobody knows what the real figures are. When you start covering up you can continue by admitting nasty things only gradually, leaving something in the dark, if you see it politically wise or impossible to reveal from the military point of view.

Soviet Union was the threat Sweden was planning its nuclear arms for. And it seems clear that the Soviets did know about the Swedish bomb program. So did the Americans. But after some decades it became clear for the Swedish politicians and Military leaders that Sweden would be under the American nuclear umbrella and the USA made it clear for the Swedes that they should give up making their own bomb. Conventional weapons could be bought by the Swedes from Western NATO countries and the nuclear weapons program was partly abandonned. But only partly, the Swedes kept the option of producing plutonium by not decommissioning all their plutonium reactors. And the nuclear weapons expertize inside Swedish army was kept alive. And the Swedes had the fift largest air force in the world.

There is something remarkable in this Swedish nuclear arms process: the US analytics were really nervous about Sweden developing their own bomb - if Sweden manages to do that even though it claims officially to be against nuclear arms, what would all the other countries that have nuclear power plants and research reactors do after Sweden has detonated its first nuclear bomb?

That's a good question for us all now when Iran is claimed to produce its own bomb. Saudi-Arabia, The Arab Emirates and many others are now considering to have own nuke programs for bomb or buying nuclear warheads. All the countries that have nuclear reactors are potential nuclear weapons developers. Even Finland is listed as a country capable of making nuclear weapons because of our nuclear know-how. The idea of own uranium production is too near to own nuclear weapons program. If you do it virtually you can do it for real. Virtual nuclear weapons countries include Japan, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea and Taiwan according to international experts. They could make own N-bombs in a very short time, they have all it takes.

The Swedish program was cleverly stated to be a research program that finds out how nuclear weapons work so that the Swedish army could protect the country against such weapons. And Olof Palme, the Swedish anti-nuke prime minister was the secretary of this secret project when he was a young politician.

By the way - our Olkiluoto-1 and -2 reactors are planned and manufactured by a company that originally had been established for planning and manufacturing Swedish nuclear weapons - AB ASEA -ATOM.




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  5. Swedish Radiation Safety Officials had removed their site about transporting Swedish plutonium to the USA. Here's another link to it: