Twenty-two American nuclear bombs are being stored in underground strong-rooms at the Volkel air base in Brabant, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.
The Telegraaf says former prime minister Ruud Lubbers has confirmed the bombs are being kept at the base in a National Geographic documentary.
There have been rumours about the bombs for decades but Lubbers, who was prime minister from 1982 to 1994, is the first senior official to confirm their presence.
‘I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013,’ Lubbers is quoted as saying. ‘I think they are an absolutely pointless part of a tradition in military thinking.’
‘If you go to Volkel now, we still have parts there which have a role in the nuclear [system],’ the AD quotes Lubbers as saying.
Experts told the Telegraaf the bombs are B61 nuclear weapons and up to four times as powerful as the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
Papers leaked by Wikileaks in 2010 seemed to suggest that US nuclear bombs were kept in the Netherlands as late as 2009. However, the then foreign minister Uri Rosenthal declined to comment.