Times reports on Belgian-British dispute over nuclear technology

The Times has learned of a dispute between Belgium and Britain over Brussels’ refusal to supply nuclear technology

Times reports on Belgian-British dispute over nuclear technology

Britain has threatened to cancel the purchase of Belgian machine guns because of Brussels’ refusal to supply London with technology to make nuclear warheads, The Times reports.

Last week, LN 24 wrote about Brussels’ refusal to export nuclear material produced in the Flemish region and destined for the British army, citing sources. According to its sources, the shipments were opposed by environmentalists. The Times specifies that it is an isostatic high-pressure press manufactured by EPSI in Antwerp. Britain uses the technology as part of the production process at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, which is responsible for the development, production and maintenance of nuclear warheads.

The dispute between the two countries has worsened because Britain, for its part, threatened to cancel a €600 million order for machine guns manufactured by Belgium’s FN Herstal.

The isostatic press produced in Antwerp is considered a unique technology. However, the British Navy said that the lack of supplies would not affect the army’s combat readiness. Nevertheless, Brussels is concerned that the conflict will “jeopardise Western and NATO unity” during the ongoing hostilities in Europe (referring to the Russian military operation in Ukraine).

The day before, Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croix said that a final decision on the export of nuclear technology to Britain had not yet been made; a decision by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Commission was pending. The Walloon Region authorities stated that the contract for supplying FN Herstal weapons to the UK “is still under negotiation”.

Source: The New York Times 

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