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RAF Lakenheath could house nuclear weapons ‘three times as powerful as those dropped on Hiroshima’

Nuclear weapons could be stored in the UK for the first time in 15 years, new reports have suggested – and Suffolk could be their staging ground.

According to The Telegraph, weapons three times as strong as the one dropped on Hiroshima could be kept at RAF Lakenheath, should plans in motion by the US Government go through.

The US Government hasn’t kept nukes at the base since 2008, having first placed them there during the Cold War.

RAF Lakenheath could house US nuclear weapons for the first time in 15 years. Picture: Mark Westley
RAF Lakenheath could house US nuclear weapons for the first time in 15 years. Picture: Mark Westley

The Telegraph said it had viewed papers from the Pentagon that revealed contracts for a new facility at the RAF site.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "It remains a longstanding UK and NATO policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at a given location."

This comes amid fears of increasing tensions with Russia.

Last week, nuclear campaigners held protests outside the base in opposition to the plans.

One protester said the famous Doomsday Clock remaining at 90 seconds to midnight for the second year should be a ‘wake-up’ call for the world.

The Doomsday Clock, maintained since 1947, is said to show the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe in the opinion of the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Speculation that RAF Lakenheath could house weapons of mass destruction arose in August last year.

According to the US Air Force’s budgetary justification report, plans were lodged to build a new 144-bedroom ‘surety dormitary’ at RAF Lakenheath, which forms part of a $50m (£39m) project.

Campaigners called on the project to be halted.

In November last year, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) sent letters to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and West Suffolk Council, the local planning authority, claiming the development does not have permitted development rights, and has called on the MoD to halt works while the necessary environmental screening is carried out.