Belgium, Belgonucleaire, Egypt, Germany, Korea, Libya, Mol, Mol Belgium, Munir Khan, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Nuclear Research Center, nuclear waste, nuclear waste labeling, Nukem, PAEA, Pakistan, plutonium, plutonium waste, radioactive waste, Taiwan, terrorism, Transnuble NV, Transnuklear
This is from 1991, but at the minimum we continue to live with the consequences. Many of the players in the Trump drama show up in earlier corruption scandals (e.g. BCCI, Iran-Contra), so no one can be certain that the past is even past. There was a lot more to this scandal, too. In the early 1990s there was a scandal involving the mislabeling of radioactive waste in the United States, as well.
From the US Congressional Record:
“PROLIFERATION PROFITEERS: PART 13
HON. FORTNEY PETE STARK OF CALIFORNIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, May 14, 1991 Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, today I will begin placing into the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD a second set of dozen case studies on foreign companies which have sold nuclear weapons technology to developing countries.
These case studies have been compiled by Cameron Binkley of the Emerging Nuclear Suppliers and nonproliferation project at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
They are a clear demonstration of how Western companies have helped advance the nuclear weapons programs of Iraq, Pakistan, India, Argentina, Brazil and other countries. We need to put an end to this nuclear wheeling and dealing or else face a world in which terrorist nations threaten us with the ultimate weapon. I have introduced legislation that would put import sanctions on foreign firms which sell nuclear items without the proper safeguards. This legislation has been endorsed by leading experts in the non-proliferation field, including Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin project on nuclear arms control. His letter on the bill follows part 13 of my series on proliferation profiteers. TWELVE FOREIGN FIRMS REPORTEDLY ENGAGED IN INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS-RELATED TRADE 1
FIRM 1: BELGONUCLEAIRE SA (BELGIUM)
The Belgian firm Belgonucleaire SA is a leader in plutonium waste treatment and technology, including the manufacture of mixed plutonium fuels for advanced nuclear reactors. Belgonucleaire offers its products as well as nuclear engineering and consulting services on a worldwide basis.
In 1987, it was implicated in a major corruption scandal involving several German firms, most importantly Nukem GmbH and its subsidiary Transnuklear GmbH, who for years illegally transferred or disposed of toxic radioactive waste through fraudulent contracts with the Nuclear Research Center at Mol, Belgium.
The Mol center held a 50 percent share in Belgonucleaire, which together with Nukem and Transnuklear held all shares in the Belgian firm Transnuble NV. Transnubel is the Belgian enterprise responsible for the transport of radioactive materials.
Because of the scandal between Transnuklear and Mol, which revolved around deliberate mislabeling of nuclear waste containers, Germany’s Der Spiegel accused Belgonucleaire of participation in the clandestine transfer of nuclear weapons materials onto the international black market, perhaps even to Pakistan or Libya.
Although such claims have not been verified, Belgonucleaire had on numerous past occasions solicited orders from Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Taiwan, and Korea-all states of proliferation concern.
Historically, Belgonucleaire has provided a considerable degree of technical assistance to both Libya and Pakistan. Belgonucleaire has also provided training services for employees of Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Agency (PAEA) that involved individuals known to have been associated with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
The president of the PAEA, Munir Khan, once recognized Belgonucleaire for its services in the construction of a small nuclear “pilot facility,” built during the seventies, which gave Pakistan the “capability to produce the necessary plutonium for a bomb.”
1 These abstracts were compiled by Cameron Binkley from articles held in the Emerging Nuclear Suppliers & Nonproliferation Project database. The validity of information contained within an abstract is based solely upon the original sources.
Sources: “Brussels Domestic Service,” 1117/88; “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” 4189, pp. 21-27 by Dan Charles; “Nuclear News Buyers Guide,” 3189, p. 4; “Le Soir,” 1/19/88, p. 4 by Guy Duplat; “Der Spiegel,” 1118188. pp. 18–30, 9117188, pp. 22–26, 9/30/89, pp. 5~1; “Le Vif! L ‘Express” (Brussels), 4124187, pp. 10–19 by Michael B. Balthasart; “Nucleonices Week,” 2/18/88, pp. 1, 8–9 by Mark Hibbs & Ann MacLachlan.
WISCONSIN PROJECT ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL, Washington, DC, March 11, 1991. Han. FORTNEY H. (PETE) STARK, Member of Congress, House of Representatives, Cannon House Office Building, Washing-ton, DC. DEAR CONGRESSMAN STARK: Thank you very much for your letter of March 1, enclosing H.R. 830, your bill to impose sanctions on foreign companies that contribute to the spread of nuclear weapons. I congratulate you for this effort and support it wholeheartedly. It is unfortunately true that some irresponsible companies have been willing to make a quick profit at the expense of world security. As your bill accurately assumes, these companies must be convinced that they will lose more by making dangerous exports than they will gain. And to do the convincing, sanctions are necessary. I will remain available to provide whatever support I can to your effort to get the legislation passed. I have attached some notes on the bill’s language, and one suggestion that you may consider incorporating. Sincerely yours, GARY MILHOLLIN” Original here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CRECB-1991-pt8/pdf/GPO-CRECB-1991-pt8-3-3.pdf