A SENIOR British nuclear expert has raised serious concerns over an alarming number of security breaches at European airbases tasked with storing America’s atomic bombs.
Fears are growing over storage of the devastating nuclear arsenal after protestors twice managed to gain entry to a supposedly secure Belgian site where dozens of warheads are housed.
The US has approximately 180 B61 bombs – more than 10 times as powerful as those dropped on Hiroshima – at six locations in five countries across Europe.
An unknown number of these weapons are stored at the Kleine Brogel airbase in Belgium.
Police believe Islamic State fanatics are planning an attack on a nuclear site after investigators found evidence of a plot late last month.
And Belgium has been the focus of European security services due to its reputation as a hotbed of radicalisation.
During the first breach in 2010, anti-nuclear campaigners spent up to an hour wandering around the air base before security personnel moved in.
A few months later activists again managed to sneak onto the site, this time reportedly gaining access to one of the hardened shelters used to house F-16 fighter jets as well as atomic weapons.
Dr Robert Downes, a research associate in nuclear security at King’s College London, said there have been “a number of lapses at Kleine Brogel airbase in recent years”.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is fair to say that if environmental activists could gain access to the area of the site where nuclear weapons were being stored then security was indeed compromised at that time despite protestations from the Belgian military.
“There have been a number of incidents at sensitive sites across Europe and the US which have shown that, even if perfect physical protection systems are in place, a weak human element has often weakened nuclear security.
Full article: EXCLUSIVE: Security breaches uncovered at EUROPEAN bases storing US nuclear warheads (Express)