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Report from NPT 3 May

Alan Mackinnon (on right in photo) reports from NPT Conference New York -

Yesterday tens of thousands of people filled the streets of New York to demand a world free from nuclear weapons and war. In brilliant sunshine and temperatures of over 30 degrees, the demonstrators from across the world were warmly greeted by local people. The demonstration marks the start of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference which starts on Monday 3rd May.

Watchdog questions defence nuclear safety

A report release under the Freedom of Information Act reveals major failings in the management of nuclear safety within the Ministry of Defence.  Rear Admiral Gould, chair of the MoD's safety board, identified 11 potential safety risks at sites including Faslane.  One issue was a shortage of suitably trained staff.  Gould pointed out that the MoD's response to change was "generally poor and significantly below best practice in the civil nuclear programmes".  Reported by Rob Edwards in the Guardian.

Scottish CND statement on North Korea Crisis


The current tensions between North Korea and the US continue to give concern.

Scottish CND take a firm view that diplomacy is the best way forward.

Arthur West chair of Scottish CND said,

'Donald Trump needs to think before he speaks.

'As former US Vice President Al Gore said he needs to listen to those sensible voices who are urging diplomacy and restraint in this difficult situation.'

Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport to be debated in the Scottish Parliament

In Scotland last year, following a careful examination of the local authorities readiness (or not as the case is) to deal with any emergency arising from the regular convoys that take the Uk's nuclear warheads up and down the country on the back of lorries, campaign group Nukewatch worked with Green MSP Mark Ruskell to compile a meticulous report, Unready Scotland, to expose this gap in the Scottish Government's duty of care.

It has now been taken up by our parliamentary all party group on nuclear disarmament and will be debated in our Scottish Parliament.

They are asking the Scottish Government to examine the risk assessment and public information in place, and to highlight any shortcomings to the UK Government.

A detail perhaps, and a small action, but it could be  a concrete measure that the Scottish Government would be allowed to take. and I hope you might take the opportunity to send messages of encouragement to our First Minister  in the hope that the Scottish Government will agree to take the steps suggested in this parliamentary motion.

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-11539&ResultsPerPage=10

Motion S5M-11539: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/04/2018
Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport 

That the Parliament understands that the Ministry of Defence regularly transports nuclear weapons on public roads in convoys that pass through or close to communities in the Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Midlothian, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian local authority areas; believes that there is an inherent risk in transporting high explosives and radioactive material together on public roads; understands that information on what to do in an emergency involving a nuclear reactor is regularly circulated to residents close to the Coulport and Faslane bases but that no equivalent information relating to an incident involving nuclear weapons is available to communities along the regular convoy route; believes that although defence is a reserved matter, it would be for the civil authorities such as police, fire and rescue and local authorities to attempt to respond to any emergency as so-called category 1 responders, and notes the view that these civil authorities must have sufficient assessments and plans in place to respond.

Supported by: John Mason, Bill Kidd, Patrick Harvie, Sandra White, Alison Johnstone, John Finnie, Ross Greer, Richard Lyle, Jenny Gilruth, Bob Doris, Kenneth Gibson, Claudia Beamish, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support

Secret Contract for Sellafield Waste

left A WELSH Labour MP has accused the UK Government of covering up a deal that will land taxpayers with a multi-billion- pound liability in the event of a nuclear accident while a private consortium will reap the profits.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn discovered that details of a contract to privatise the management of waste from the controversial Sellafield nuclear power station in Cumbria should have been placed in the House of Commons library in July. If they had been, MPs would have had 14 days in which to raise questions about the deal.

In fact, the contract was not put into the library until last week, by which time the opportunity to scrutinise it had gone.

Call to Obama to commit to global disarmamnet

leftDemocrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has called on Barack Obama
to take the lead and commit himself to working for the global
elimination of nuclear weapons.

Facebook and CND Songbook

16 submarine crashes

The MoD have published a list of 16 crashes involving nuclear submarines since 1988. The list was obtained by SNP MP Angus Robertson and was published in the Sunday Herald.  Nuclear Engineer John Large said "One collision is one too many - especially when it involves a submarine with a nuclear reactor".  9 of the 16 incidents took place around Scotland. John Ainslie of Scottish CND said: "It is time the Royal Navy stopped treating the coast of Scotland as a playground for nuclear submarines".

Dodgy Astute submarines should be scrapped

 

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has called on the Government to scrap the new fleet of Astute submarines, because they are fundamentally unsafe.  A series of major problems with the vessels is revealed in the Guardian.

"The Government should scrap their plans to send more Astute class submarines to Scotland. There are clearly a series of insurmountable design failures with the new boats, many of which have major safety implications. The Navy should not be putting the lives of sailors and the general public at risk by sending these dodgy vessels to sea."

Global Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

 

Scottish CND is delighted that on Friday 7th  July 2017 a global treaty banning nuclear weapons was passed at the United Nations in New York.
The treaty was supported by 122 countries at the United Nations Headquarters after months of talks in the face of opposition from nuclear armed states.Disgracefully the UK government did not take part in the talks.

The treaty is 10 pages long and will be open for nations to sign at the United Nations General Assembly in September.The treaty also puts nuclear weapons on the same footing as landmines, biological and chemical weapons which were banned a number of years ago.

It is really disappointing that the UK Government did not take part in these historic talks.However there is evidence to suggest that UN treaties can be effective even when some nations fail to sign up to them.The US did not sign up to the landmines treaty but has now changed its landmines policy to comply with the treaty.
Scottish CND believes that the treaty will have an impact on the behaviour of nuclear weapons states.