NEW YORK, NY: 15 tons of heavy water was diverted from Norway into the international black market according to a report in the New York Times newspaper.

The paper quoted Gary Malbulan, an expert at the Washington based Natural Resources Defence Council that the heavy water might have been diverted to India. He said that India “was in the market” for heavy water at the time of diversion and that other press reports have recounted tales of covert shipments to India.

Heavy water or deuterium social, is used to run nuclear reactors on natural uranium and a byproduct of the nuclear reaction is plutonium which can be used to make bombs. India produces its own heavy water but not in sufficient quantities for its needs. It can, and does import heavy water legitimately but in such a case its use is strictly governed by the International Atomic Energy Commission.

India exploded a nuclear device in May, 1974, and has refused to sign the nuclear non prolification treaty on the grounds that it is discriminately.

It also voted, last year, against a U.N. General Assembly resolution to declare South Asia a nuclear free zone.

Norvegian authorities are investigating into the disappearance of the 15 tons of heavy water. Steps have been taken to tighten up the security so as to prevent a recurrence of such an event.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988