According to a report released on Monday by De Telegraaf, the Netherlands’ former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers has confirmed that 22 nuclear bombs belonging to the United States have remained stored in his country.
Lubbers, who served as prime minister from 1982-1994, was aware of the presence of the warheads at the time, however recently, he has commented, “I would never have thought those silly things would be there in 2013,” he further added, “I think they are an absolutely pointless part of a tradition in military thinking.”
The report continued to say that the nuclear bombs were buried deep underground at the Volkel Airbase in Brabant. The bombs are said to be B61s, which hold four times as much firepower as those dropped during World War II, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The weapons were first alluded to publicly by a Wikileaks cable late in 2009, which outlined the potential withdrawal of US weapons from Europe, as GlobalPost reports.
“For example, a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult politically for Turkey to maintain its own stockpile, even though it was still convinced of the need to do so,” wrote US Ambassador Philip Murphy in November 2009.
A 2007 report included in the leak said US nuclear weapons had been stored in a vault underneath the Volkel airbase since the 1960s, the era of the Cuban missile crisis, RT writes.