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

Plans for £110m Waste Dump at Dounreay

PEOPLE living near the Dounreay nuclear plant say they will fight plans for a waste dump close to their homes, despite the scheme winning the conditional backing of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
SEPA says it supports proposals for a £110 million underground low-level radioactive waste store – the first of its type in Scotland – provided seven planning conditions are imposed to protect people and the environment.

But householders in Buldoo , Caithness, are trying to stop the construction of up to six shallow storage vaults, which they say would be outside Dounreay's licensed site and only 430 metres from the nearest house. They want a public inquiry.

The vaults would be part of the £2.9 billion decommissioning of Dounreay. Already, 38,000 cubic metres of low-level waste have been stored on the site, but storage there is nearing capacity and decommissioning will produce up to 175,000 cubic metres more. The Scottish Government has ruled out disposing of the waste elsewhere.

The site operator, Dounreay Site Restoration, applied for planning permission for the vaults in 2006 and, if approved, they could be used by 2014. The waste would be stored in drums and put inside cement-lined containers and then buried in a shallow covered pit.

New warhead for UK Trident ?

A Freedom of Information dispute between Scottish CND and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that a senior official indicated in June 2007
that the MoD were planning to acquire a nuclear warhead and missile system as part of their plan to replace Trident.

gould statement


Trident sub stops yacht race

The Navy forced competitors to abandon a classic sailing race in Plymouth  
to move a Trident submarine. Boats had just started the final leg across
the Western entrance to Plymouth harbour in race five when the Navy
instructed the fleet that they could not continue to the finish line
because they were moving a Trident submarine. The race organisers
attempted to set up an alternative finish, but this
did not comply with the rules and so the race was abandoned. The
race was for Dragon class boats built before 1972.
(BYM sailing and sports news)

Victorious to return to Faslane


The Trident submarine HMS Victorious has been relaunched after a 3 year refit and refuelling at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth. The vessel is expected to sail to Faslane shortly. (reported in the Plymouth Herald)

After returning to Faslane the submarine will take part in trials and crew training over several months. It will then sail to Port Canaveral in Florida, load one or two missiles and conduct a missile test firing.  It will then go to the US Trident base at Kings Bay Georgie and load up with its compliment of missiles. At the end of this it will return to the Clyde. The warheads will be loaded onto the missiles in the Explosives Handling Jetty at Coulport. Once the submarine is fully armed with 48 nuclear warheads it will be sent on patrol.  This is due to start later in 2008.

US Czech Missile Deal

" MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry Tuesday threatened a "military-technological" response if the United States deploys a missile defense system in former Soviet-bloc nations near Russia's borders. "


" The Czech Republic is withdrawing from U.S. missile defense plans out of frustration at its diminished role, the Czech defense minister told The Associated Press Wednesday. The Bush administration first proposed stationing 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an advanced radar in the Czech Republic, saying the system was aimed at blunting future missile threats from Iran. But Russia angrily objected and warned that it would station its own missiles close to Poland if the plan went through. In September 2009, the Obama administration shelved that plan and offered a new, reconfigured phased program with an undefined role for the Czechs. In November 2009, the Czech Republic was offered the possibility of hosting a separate early warning system that would gather and analyze information from satellites to detect missiles aimed at NATO territory. "


UK's NPT Obligations

leftThe Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, writes in his letter  that, if all states “live up to both the letter and the spirit of the obligations” under the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) “the vision can become a reality”.

I agree. But what is the United KingdomÂ’s record of living up to its own NPT obligations, to which it signed up 40 years ago this month, after protracted negotiations at the UN?

Article VI of the NPT requires all signatories to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date”.

Yet, as was confirmed in a written reply a year ago by the Defence Secretary, Des Browne (Hansard, 16 May 2007, column 620w), not one UK nuclear weapon or warhead has been withdrawn from operational service as a result of multilateral disarmament negotiations in the 40 years of the NPT. Moreover, at present none of BritainÂ’s nuclear arsenal features in any nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Obama and McCain on nuclear weapons

leftThe Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has published a summary of the views of the two candidates in the Presidential election on security issues, including nuclear weapons. McCain has not expressed an opinion on the proposed new warhead, the Reliable Replacement Warhead.  Obama has opposed a "premature decision" on the warhead. McCain has previously opposed ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but there are signs that his approach may have changed.

Rifkind, Hurd, Owen and Robertson


Malcolm Rifkind has joined with Douglas Hurd, David Owen and George Robertson in a new call for progress towards nuclear disarmament. In a joint article in The Times they say there is a powerful case for a dramatic reduction in nuclear weapons and that the UK should consider what its contribution will be. They also call for a debate in the UK and Europe.

CND Chair Kate Hudson said, "This new article by Britain's former Cold Warriors shows the ongoing change in public opinion towards nuclear weapons and underlines the growing understanding that national security, not just for Britain but for all states, necessitates the disarmament of all nuclear weapons. Coming on the 40th anniversary of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this statement exposes the failures of the nuclear weapon states and reaches CND's long held view that failure to disarm is a green light to proliferation."

US withdraws Nukes from Lakenheath

Nuclear weapons' expert Hans Kristensen has disclosed that, according to his sources,
the US has withdrawn its B61 nuclear bombs from the airbase at Lakenheath in East Anglia.
In 2000 there were believed to be 480 US nuclear weapons in Europe. The largest number were 
at Lakenheath which is thought to have stored 110 of the bombs.
He earlier reported that in 2004 President Bush authorised the withdrawal of nuclear
weapons from Ramstein in Germany. There have been a series of reports from within the
US military, expressing concern about the security and role of these bombs deployed at
Airbases across Europe.
The news has not yet been confirmed by the Government or the MoD in the UK.


Nuclear Popcorn


A newly declassified report from the Ministry of Defence has revealed 
for the first time that a nuclear accident could result in a significant
nuclear yield. JSP 538 Regulation of the Nuclear Weapons Programme says
that where there are a number of nuclear weapons in the same vicinity
then a very low yield from the detonation of one warhead could result in
a significant yield from another warhead.