Nuclear Weapons

Brown's mixed signals on nuclear

Posted by jossc — 20 March 2009 at 12:44pm - Comments

International security consultant Martin Butcher

Martin Butcher gives his reaction to the Prime Minister's recent policy speech on the future of Britain's nuclear arsenal. Martin is a consultant on international security issues and a Nato policy analyst for the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy. This article first appeared in Comment is Free on 17th March.

Gordon Brown's speech today at Lancaster House exposed a fundamental contradiction at the heart of government policy on non-proliferation. The prime minister sees the importance of a world free of nuclear weapons because it is the only way of guaranteeing "that our children and grandchildren will be free from the threat of nuclear war". And yet, his government is committed to the development of a new generation of submarine-based nuclear weapons to replace Trident, thus maintaining Britain's status as a nuclear weapons state for half a century.

Can '6 step programme' wean nuclear nations off their A-bomb addiction?

Posted by jossc — 4 February 2009 at 4:06pm - Comments

David Miliband MP

Can David Miliband find a cure for nuclear weapons addiction?

Foreign Secretary David Miliband gave a speech today in London outlining a new '6 step programme' for creating a world free of nuclear weapons. His speech was largely a response to pressure created by recent high-profile campaigns emerging from the US, which have been calling for step by step progress towards the ultimate abolition of the world's nuclear arsenals.

Getting rid of the bomb? Sounds like radical stuff, but what's particularly radical is who is behind these campaigns. Not your 'usual suspect' peaceniks, but rather some of the biggest names in international diplomacy, who have come together to demand action on global security because they see the spread of nuclear weapons as the biggest threat to our immediate future.

Nukewatch - exposing a deadly cargo

Posted by Louise Edge — 7 November 2008 at 3:48pm - Comments

Is there a nuclear truck in your neighbourhood?

If there's a nuclear truck in your neighbourhood - who you gonna call? Nukewatch! ©

Few people know that convoys carrying nuclear warheads regularly travel along our roads, past our homes and schools. Containing plutonium and other deadly radioactive material, they are transported between submarine bases in Scotland and Berkshire's repair and maintenance facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield. An accident involving and explosion or fire could cause a partial nuclear blast and result in lethal radiation contaminating the surrounding area.

Final findings for the Faslane Five

Posted by bex — 16 May 2008 at 11:49am - Comments

No new nuclear weapons

A Greenpeace volunteer on the boom at Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland

I don’t know if your remember our Trident Tour last year - that five week frenzy of Faslane blockading, crane climbing, arrests, solitary confinement, losing a ship, getting it back again, bearing witness, gigs, press conferences, political events and rallies.

Well, it’s been a long time coming but, over a year after the event, I can give you the final results of the legal wranglings that ensued.

The curious tale of Israel's nuclear whistleblower

Posted by Louise Edge — 25 April 2008 at 6:20pm - Comments

Four years ago Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was released from jail having served 18 years inside. Yet this month the Israeli government renewed, for the fifth time, an order confining him to Jerusalem, where he is under constant surveillance, banned from talking to foreigners and shunned by Israeli society. He lives with no work, income, home or support. A virtual prisoner.

50 years on, still campaigning for peace

Posted by bex — 2 April 2008 at 12:23pm - Comments

Linking hands to surround the base

Thousands joined hands to surround Aldermaston base on Easter Monday

On the Easter weekend of 1958 - a few weeks after the birth of CND - thousands of people braved the icy weather and marched from London to the nuclear weapons factory at Aldermaston in Berkshire to protest the building of nuclear bombs. The march marked the birth of the peace movement in Britain.

Sadly, 50 years on, the peace movement is needed as much as it ever was; last year, our government (which counts many former CND members among its numbers) voted to replace Trident, and to lock the world into at least another 50 years of nuclear bombs. Despite the rhetoric of Brown's recent national security strategy (he wants "to free the world from nuclear weapons", apparently), £5 billion is being poured into building new facilities at Aldermaston to design new nuclear bombs - most likely in contravention of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Shock and AWE as bomb factory goes up for sale

Posted by jossc — 16 January 2008 at 5:15pm - Comments

Razor wire fence surrounding AWE Aldermaston

Watch out world! Hot on the heels of the story that next-generation US designed Trident missiles may be too large to fit in the UK's submarine fleet comes news of another blow to the prestige of our very own nuclear deterrent - Aldermaston, aka 'Britain's Bomb Factory', is set to come under US control for the first time.

New Trident too big for subs

Posted by jossc — 4 January 2008 at 2:13pm - Comments

Reported in Scotland's Sunday Herald just before Christmas (but not seen by me until a few days ago, hence the delay in passing it on) was a tale to gladden the hearts of peaceniks everywhere - namely that the latest upgrade to the US designed Trident D5 nuclear missiles may not actually fit into British submarines.

Clearly falling well within the parameters of the "you couldn't make it up" school of classic cock-ups, the Herald reported that tender documents for future underwater-launched nuclear missiles issued by the US Navy last November specify a missile diameter of up to 120 inches. The diameter of Trident's D5 missile tubes is 87 inches.

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