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On wild roads?

Norsk Hydro's heavy water production was completed in 1988. Nevertheless, Norwegian exports of the product that can be used to make nuclear weapons continue.


[heavy water] The Norwegian public lives in the belief that heavy water exports from Norway ended with the closure of Norsk Hydro's heavy water production at Rjukan in 1988.

However, Ny Tid may reveal that Norway has continued to export heavy water until at least 2004. In the period 1988 to 2004, Norwegian heavy water with a total value of almost NOK 70 million has been shipped out of the country.

International trade in heavy water is subject to strict scrutiny because it can be part of the production of nuclear weapons. The scandal was therefore great when Norwegian heavy water was sold under great secrecy to Israel in the 1960s, which helped Israel to procure nuclear weapons.

But the question of heavy water from Norway since 1988 has gone astray, will be difficult to answer. The Directorate of Customs and Excise has rejected Ny Tid's application for access to which players in Norway export this strategically important product.

The Directorate also refuses to state the quantities and to which customers in which countries the heavy water has been delivered, with the exception of the figures for two years, 2001 and 2004.

What we do know, however, is that the sums in Statistics Norway's statistics represent such large amounts of heavy water that the recipient must have been nuclear power plants for most years.

Lack of Norwegian openness about heavy water from past sins is now being addressed by the Arab League in mid-September. In a letter to Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, the League's Secretary General, Amre Moussa, demands that Norway publish all information related to the scandal surrounding the Norwegian heavy water contribution to Israel's nuclear weapons program in the 1960s.

- We have not felt confident that Norway has told everything, says Alaa Roushydy, official spokeswoman for the Arab League, to Ny Tid.

Extensive exports

- We produced between 500 and 600 tonnes of heavy water here from 1934 until production stopped in 1988, says former laboratory manager Per Pynten.

We are in the basement of the old Norwegian laboratory. . .

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