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Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Generals Against the Bomb

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Three retired senior British military figures have condemned the Government's plan to replace Trident.  In a letter to the Times on 16 January Field Marshal Lord Bramall, General Lord Ramsbotham (pictured) and General Sir Hugh Beach say tht British nuclear weapons are completely useless as a deterrent against the threats that Britain is likely to face.  They add that the system is not independent, doesn't give the country political clout and spending on nuclear weapons is diverting funds from conventional military forces.  They conclude that "our independent deterrent has become virtually irrelevant".

Planning deadline for Burghfield extended

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The deadline for objections to the new nuclear weapons' assembly factory at AWE Burghfied in Berkshire has been extended to 30 January.

There is an online form to submit objections on the CND website at: www.cnduk.org/scripts/awe-dec/

 

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.

Plan for new nuclear bomb facility

leftThe Atomic Weapons Establishement has submitted a planning application to West Berkshire Council for a new facility to assemble nuclear weapons.

This is a major part of the Government's plan to rebuild much of Britain's nuclear bomb factory. Like the current assembly facility (photo) the new building will be at Burghfield which is a few miles from Aldermaston.

It is important that a large number of objections are submitted against this proposal.

US take over of Aldermaston

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The majority share in the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which makes all Britain's nuclear weapons, is now in American hands. 

Windows for Submarines

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A new IT system for Trident submarines has been installed. The Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG) is based on Windows XP.  The new command system was recently installed on HMS Vigilant, which is currently in refit at Devonport dockyard.

Source - The Register

 

Commission on US strategic posture

left The interim report from a new commission into US nuclear weapons policy, chaired by former Defence Secretary William Perry, was published on 15 December 

Overall the report is mixed and cautious.  It reaffirms the importance of Russia in determining the size of US nuclear forces, although it states that there is no nuclear threat from Russia or China.  It advocates bilateral negotiations with Russia. Ratification of the CTBT could be considered if there were assurances from the nuclear laboratories.  Nuclear terrorism is seen as a growing threat, particularly if the dangers of proliferation are not tackled.

A paper was sent to the Commission on the relationship between US and British nuclear weapons programmes.

Global Zero Campaign

left A new international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons was launched in Paris on 8 December.  British supporters include billionaire Richard Branson, former Conservative Defence Minister Malcolm Rifkind and former Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett.  International supporters include former US President Jimmy Carter and ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

An international opinion poll asked about support for an agreement for all countries to eliminate nuclear weapons according to an agreed timetable.  Overall there was 76 % support for the proposal.  In Britain 55% were in favour.

www.globalzero.org

Britain forcing pace of US Trident replacement

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The future shape of the US nuclear weapons programme should be set by a series of reviews between 2008 and 2010.  It might be expected that only after these reviews would the Department of Defence determine what role there was for submarine-launched missiles and what missions they are expected to carry out in future decades. However a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons on 19 November indicated that the British government are setting the pace for the programme to replace the US Trident system.

Nuclear Waste Storage Costs Escalate

leftPlans to store nuclear waste have hit a snag with the need of  another waste repository involving a massive escalation in cost.

Ministers insist they still expect only one high-level geological disposal facility (GDF) will be needed at a possible cost of �12bn but a discussion paper produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicates a second cannot be ruled out.