The Nucular Threat - Intro Notes - Back to Index



The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for nuclear disarmament, in a session chaired by US President Barack Obama.


Nick Clegg has called for the Trident nuclear deterrent to be scrapped, saying it is too expensive and no longer meets the UK's defence needs.


An MP has called for an investigation after it emerged that the Faslane naval base has suffered a series of safety breaches including radioactive leaks.


The UK's nuclear deterrent should be scrapped, according to a group of retired senior military officers.


A group of international dignitaries have launched a new campaign in Paris to eliminate nuclear weapons.


Doctors in Afghanistan say rates of some health problems affecting children have doubled in the last two years. Some scientists say the rise is linked to use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) by the US-led coalition that invaded the country in 2001.


Almost 30kg of plutonium apparently missing from the Sellafield nuclear plant is simply an auditing issue, it has been announced.


Money earmarked to replace Trident should instead be spent providing a "massive" boost to manufacturing in Scotland, campaigners have urged.


A second public consultation into whether new nuclear stations should be built has "failed", a report suggests.


Radiation monitoring has begun along beaches on the Scottish side of the Solway Firth. It follows the discovery of radioactive particles from the Sellafield nuclear plant on beaches in North Cumbria.


First Minister Alex Salmond is seeking support from the international community in his campaign to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons.


According to an article by Wayne Madsen oribinally published at Wayne Madsen Report (article available there only to members), the nuclear-armed missiles "mistakenly" transported from Minot to Barksdale were destined for the Middle East. According to the article the mission was aborted due to resistance from within the US Air Force an a cover-up is in operation.


Green groups have pulled out of the debate over whether the UK should build new nuclear power stations. Organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are unhappy with the way the government has presented the arguments to the public.


The US Air Force has launched an investigation after a B-52 bomber flew across the US last week mistakenly loaded with nuclear-armed missiles.


On 1st October 2007, after a year of nonviolent blockading of the nuclear submarine base at Faslane, 30 miles west of Glasgow, Faslane 365 is celebrating the diversity and impact of this civil resistance against the UK's illegal weapons of mass destruction. If you have not been involved then why not make ammends by heading to the Faslane 365 Big Blockade on October 1st.


Green MEPs question European Commission and Council over uranium weapons.


The Scottish Parliament has voted against renewing Trident nuclear weapons - the first time Holyrood has taken a clear position on the issue.


Government plans to dispose of nuclear waste have been attacked as "incoherent and opaque" by a committee of peers.


I managed to get back to Hertford on Saturday morning in time to join the riders for the last leg of the Vanunu Freedom Ride. The weather was perfect and we had a nice ride down the Lea Valley to reach Hackney Town Hall at 2pm for food, speeches, photographs etc. We then went to Downing Street to hand in a petition and then on to West Kensington for a gathering as close to the Israeli Embassy as we were allowed. After that there was a reception at Kensington Library but I left and headed down to the South Bank to meet a friend, then up to Kings Cross to catch a train home. It had been quite a long day and I was a bit annoyed that the trains were not running back up to Hatfield, forcing me to add another five miles ride home from St. Albans. Still, I needed the excercise and it was a worthy cause.


This evening I cycled over to Hertford to meet the people who have cycled from Faslane on the second Vanunu Freedom Ride. They were having a public meeting at the Friends Meeting House (built in 1670 and believed to be the oldest purpose-built meeting house in continuous use) and since I arrived early they invited me to have something to eat with them. There has been a core of seven riders all the way from Faslane but they have had over thirty for some sections. The meeting was reasonably well attended and included a screening of the film Waiting for Mordechai. I am going to try to get back there in the morning for 10am to join them on the last leg of their journey, down the Lea Valley to London.


About 100 residents angry at disruption caused by the peace camp at Faslane are staging their own demonstration outside the naval base.


FootPrints for Peace are organising an interfaith peace walk towards a nuclear free future. It will start in Dublin on May 12th and visit many places including Faslane, Sellafield, Menwith Hill and Aldermaston, befor finally reaching London for the anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima on August 6th.


I have just got back from London where I took part in protests against the vote to renew Trident. The bill passed as expected but enough Labour MPs rebelled for Tony to have to rely on his friends in the Tory party. Tony/Tory, almost the same aren't they? I gathered with about 100 cyclists on the South Bank and as we set off the police told us that we would not be allowed to ride round Parliament Square - so we set off for Parliament Square. The ride was a bit strung out and I crossed Westminster bridge in the first group of about 20 riders. We got about half way round the square before police ran out and blocked the road, nice one, that's what I wanted to do - you saved me the trouble! There were loads of people in the square listening to speeches and some came over to the West side to give us moral support. The police herded us off the road fairly quickly, opening it up to traffic again, just as another 80 or so cyclists rode round the corner. The police kindly blocked the road again and this time it took them a good 15 minutes to get traffic flowing again. Then I did manage to do three full laps on my own or with small groups but it was a bit like running the ball in rugby or American football - cops would run out into the road and tackle cyclists and you just had to try to find the gaps. We would have done better with more people but it was not a bad effort. Straight after the vote a few MPs came out to the square to take the microphone, which was reassuring - at least some of them are human.

Amongst the Labour rebels were 15 Scottish MPs. The only people with cause to celebrate tonight are the directors and shareholders of the companies that will get the contracts - they will be raking in a fat wad of the £25 billion or so that it will cost us. No, that is a bit defeatist, we can only hope that this vile plan will fall at a subsequent hurdle - please help to make it so.


Four Greenpeace campaigners have scaled a crane beside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster to protest against the government's plans to update Trident.

Ministerial aide Jim Devine has become the second member of the government to quit over plans to renew the UK's Trident nuclear weapons.


Deputy leader of the Commons Nigel Griffiths has quit the government in protest at plans to renew the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system.


Ministers are facing a possible Labour rebellion over plans to renew the UK's nuclear weapons system.


The Livingston MP Jim Devine is to step down from his government post in protest over plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system.


Ex-president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has joined calls for Tony Blair to abandon plans to replace Britain's Trident nuclear missiles.


The Government has sheduled parliamentary time to debate Trident replacement on March 14th. Lots of events are being planned for that day, see the Trident Vote Day website.


There is a Faslane Students Blockade and Peace Camp as part of the year long Faslane 365 event. If you want to get involved then you could get along to a planning meeting on Saturday after the London demo, starting at 18:30 at the Westminster Friends Meeting House.


Dozens of top British bands and musicians joined forces today against Trident replacement.


Greenpeace has won its High Court bid to make the government rethink its programme to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Some footage of the UK nuclear warhead convoy leaving AWE Burghfield and going through Junction 12 on the M4 just outside Reading on 13 November 2006.


Scientists have backed the government's plan to store the UK's nuclear waste deep underground.


Caroline Lucas MEP will be leading the national Green Party demonstration against renewal of Trident nuclear missiles on Wednesday 7th February 2007, assembling at 1pm on Parliament Square by Brian Haw's peace-camp.

The next Aldermaston blockade is on Feb 12th - see Block the Builders.


Moves to replace Britain's nuclear submarine fleet are "highly premature", an American expert has told MPs.


In conjunction with the Stop the War Coalition, CND have organised a "No Trident/Troops out of Iraq" national demonstration on February 24th at Noon in Central London.

Meanwile, a number of politicians have been arrested during protests at the gates of Faslane WMD base.


An international group of academics is to stage a protest against "weapons of mass destruction" at the gates of the Faslane submarine base on the Clyde.


A majority of Scottish MPs are opposed to Tony Blair's plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, a BBC survey has found.


This morning the Trident submarine base at Faslane and the atomic weapons factory at Aldermaston have both been the focus of disruption as activists blockaded entrance gates.


The Big Trident Debate website exists to pressure the UK government int fulfilling it's promise of a full and open debate about the future of Britain's nuclear weapons.


The need, legality and morality of updating the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent have been questioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.


No surprises today from Tony Blair as he revealed his expected plan to squander £20bn on a new fleet of nuclear submarines for our illegal weapons of mass destruction. He claims it would be "unwise" for the UK to give up its nuclear weapons, but this is coming from a man who thought it would be wise to invade Iraq. It would be unwise to trust him further than you could throw a Trident submarine.


A candidate to become Labour's deputy leader has said he is not convinced of the need to replace Britain's ageing nuclear weapons.


Hundreds of protesters have been gathering at an atomic research base claiming that any plans to update the UK's nuclear defences are unlawful.


Greenpeace has a Bomb Spotting campaign in which citizens summons and complaints are being filed all over Europe to demand the enforcement of international humanitarian law by dismantling Nuclear Weapons.


MPs will vote early in 2007 on whether Britain's nuclear weapons system should be replaced, Downing Street has said.


Although I helped organise the cyclists day of action at Faslane on Oct 13th, I was not able to go myself. Some friends took the Pedals Sound System with it's new paint job that it received during the Bicycology Summer Roadshow. Since they arrived a few days ahead of schedule they were able to help out at the camp and support other actons. There is a good report on the cyclists page at the Faslane 365 website. A number of people have expressed an interest in doing another bike actin at the base, it just needs a bit of effort to coordinate. I am still the person who fields the Faslane 365 cyclists email and I am looking for someone to pass it on to.


I just signed a petition on the 10 Downing Street website which states "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to champion the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, by not replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system."


On September 9, the Lord Provost and Council of the City of Edinburgh hosted a breakfast reception in the City Chambers, to give support to Faslane 365 in advance of the blockade's launch on October 1st. Some 30 representatives from blockading groups participated, as well as the 15-strong Edinburgh Protest in Harmony singers, Robin Harper MSP and various Councillors.

Check out the Faslane 365 rota - it is not too late to get involved. In particular, if you are a cyclist you might want to get there for October 12th. Use the contact form on the websites to contact "Cyclists" if you are interested in cycling there in a group.

Scotland's religious leaders are joining campaigners on a march for peace from Faslane naval base to the Scottish Parliament.


Check out The Hiroshima Myth by John V. Denson.


There needs to be a "genuine and meaningful" public debate on whether the UK should keep its nuclear weapons, the Commons defence committee has said.


Gordon Brown has signalled that he wants to keep and renew Britain's independent nuclear deterrent.


The world could be pushed back to the brink of destruction, as during the height of the cold war, due to the spread of nuclear technology, the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog has said. He went on to say that the only way to avoid this nightmare scenario would be for the major global powers, including the US and its allies, to develop alternative strategies for international security that eliminated the need for nuclear deterrence.


The fifth Trident Ploughshares Devonport Disarmament Camp started today.


Proponents often claim that one of the big benefits of nuclear power is that it produces no CO2. This is clearly false, but just how much CO2 is produced compared to a similar gas fired power station? Well, it depends on the quality of the Uranium ore. With high quality ores, the CO2 produced by the full nuclear life cycle is about one half to one third of an equivalent sized gas fired power station. With low quality ores nuclear and gas are pretty much equivalent in the ammount of CO2 produced. These figures are from the paper "Nuclear Power: the energy balance" by J.W. Storm and P. Smith (2005). See Does nuclear energy produce no CO2? by Dave Kimble.


There is a group of cyclists mobilising to cover October 12th and 13th for Faslane 365.


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have a collection of Deadly Maps which reflect the worldwide proliferation of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats.


A new generation of nuclear power stations cannot solve energy supply problems in the short term and crucial questions of security, cost and effectiveness remain unanswered, MPs will warn in a report to be published this weekend.


Last night I went along to the Friends Meeting House in WGC for the nuclear power debate. Sir Bernard Ingham went first and told us why he thinks Britain needs to build new nuclear reactors. He is a bit of a climate change skeptic but he agreed that it is prudent to try to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses. He thinks of environmentalists as people who want us to give up the benefits of a high energy lifestyle and does not think that the general population can be persuaded to accept such a sacrifice. With this assumption, he does not believe it is possible to satisfy our medium term energy requirements without relying on nuclear power and he made a reasonably good case to support his conclusion. One of his main points was that nuclear power in the UK has a good safety record (it can't be proved to have killed anyone) and that the new reactors would be even safer than the existing ones.

Then it was David Toke's turn. He is an advisor to the Green Party on energy policy, and although he seemed quite knowlegable he did not present his case as well as Sir Bernard even with the benefit of visuals which Sir Bernard chose not to use. He did have quite a lot of figures to show that investment in renewables and demand reduction measures is more cost effective than investment in nuclear plant but I can't comment on the reliability of these estimates. He did also point out that if nuclear power is considered essential for the UK, surely we have no right to expect other countries such as Iran to make do without it.

There were quite a few audience questions then the two speakers took it in turns to sum up. The chairman did a good job of remaining neutral and the whole event was a useful introduction to an important and topical issue.


The cost of the UK's nuclear waste clean-up programme could be more than £70bn, according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).


Welwyn Hatfield Environmental Network have organised a debate on nuclear power. It will take place at the Friends Meeting House in WGC on 2006-04-12 at 19:30, with Sir Bernard Ingham speaking in favour and Green Party energy spokesman Dr Dave Toke against.


I have just created this section of my website to collect information about the twin dangers of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. I am not currently planning to pull in existing information from other sections of the site which might include: Ian Gregory 2010