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Nuclear Documents Found on Sidewalk

LONDON (AP) -- Documents outlining unannounced British plans to develop new nuclear weapons have been found on a sidewalk, The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the documents, dated March 10, were found near the Aldermaston nuclear-weapons factory in Berkshire, southern England and gave details of production targets to replace the warheads on Britain's U.S. Trident nuclear submarines.

The Defense Ministry played down the significance of the information.

''It's really no great shakes, because most of the information listed here is in the public domain already,'' a ministry spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

The Guardian said the current Trident warheads -- five times the size of the Hiroshima bomb -- are to be replaced with smaller, more precise weapons capable of targeting enemy bunkers.

In March, two members of Britain's MI6 and MI5 intelligence agencies lost laptop computers in separate lapses. One computer was stolen from an agent at a London subway station, and the other was lost in a bar.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 05, 2000

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