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Scottish CND response to recent Terror attacks

The thoughts of Scottish CND are with the families and friends of those who were victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

Scotland Endangered: The Hazards Of Nuclear - Helensburgh CND Conference, 17 March

Scotland Endangered, 17 March

(Helensburgh Parish Church Halls, Colquhoun St, 10.30 - 6 pm, organised by Helensburgh CND)

Join Helensburgh CND and their conference to hear about the hazards associated with nuclear weapons regardless of whether or not anyone ever actually pushes the button.

Radioactive materials are transported on our roads, from our airports and on our railways, and our air and water are contaminated by radioactive elements and processes.

The transportation, use and storage of nuclear weapons and materials have involved numerous incidents and mishaps, nearly all of which are in the public domain, and when taken together paint a hugely frightening picture of the Trident Nuclear Weapons System in Scotland - a major accident waiting to happen, and for which there has been little or no preparation. The likelihood of such an event has only been increased due to the aging of the current Trident system, and also because of the financial constraints owing to the eye-watering cost of Trident both present an future.

For those unable to make it, the event will be live-streamed here.

Programme
10.30 Registration, 11.00 Start
Opening (Arthur WestChair of Scottish CND)
Short Film: Benchmark 6 (David Newbigging Filmmaker & Artist)
11.20 Unit 1 Transportation (Chair Ruth Wishart, Columnist & Broadcaster)
 Nukes of Hazard (Rob Edwards, Investigative Journalist)
 Unready Scotland (Jane Tallents/David McKenzie, Nukewatch)
 Activist (Brian Quail, Scottish CND)
 Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (Tor Justad)

1.00 - 1.45 Lunch Break (soup & sandwich lunch provided)

1.45 Unit 2 - Contamination (Chair Alannah Maurer, Navy Not Nuclear)
 Dumped at sea (Alonso Latrina film about nuclear waste disposal)
 Tritium (Dr Ian Fairlie, Respected Independent Consultant on
Radioactivity in the Environment
)
 Epidemiology (Dr Ian Fairlie, as above)

3.15 - 3.45 Refreshment break (tea/coffee/biscuits provided)

3.45 Unit 3 - Degradation (Chair Isobel Lindsay, Vice Chair of Scottish CND)
 Playing with Fire (David Cullen, Nuclear Information Service)
 Trident Nukes Present and Future (Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for
West Dumbartonshire
)

5.55 Closing
6.00 Finish
Floor Manager: David Newbigging (As above)
Livestream: Kevin Gibney (Independence Live)

Attempt to Bury News of Missile Defence Base Attacked

CND wholeheartedly welcomes the comments made by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee The Committee has strongly criticised the Government�s attempt to sneak out the announcement that the American-run base of RAF Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire is to form part of the US Missile Defence system.

 

The influential committee of MPs said that they �regret the manner and timing of the Government's announcement�and the resulting lack of Parliamentary debate on the issue� referring to the release of the news as a written statement on the last day before Parliament broke for the summer.

 

In February then-Prime Minister Tony Blair had promised a full debate �when we have a proposition to put�. Just weeks before the announcement of the decision, a minister told the Commons "discussions are at an early stage and there are no formal proposals". In apparent contradiction to these statements, the decision was announced in July. In response, the Committee �recommend that the Government inform us of the date on which it received the formal proposal from the US to include Menwith Hill in the BMD system�. They also call for a full Parliamentary debate on the proposals. 

 

US withdraws Nukes from Lakenheath

left
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.



 

Plutonium Shipments Stopped

Top-secret shipments of weapons-ready plutonium through British waters have been stopped, after their exposure by the Independent on Sunday. The Department for Transport (DfT) said that it had taken "regulatory action" to prohibit the shipments from Sellafield to Normandy on an unarmed old roll-on, roll-off ferry, with few safety or security features. The prohibition, the first of its kind, was imposed after complaints by the French nuclear safety authorities.

The shipments – denounced by nuclear weapons experts as "madness" and "totally irresponsible" – were carrying hundreds of kilograms of plutonium-dioxide powder, described as the ideal material for terrorists seeking to create a nuclear explosion or make a dirty bomb. Only 10kg of the plutonium, experts claim, would be needed to make a terrorist atomic weapon.

John Large, an independent nuclear expert, called it "the most dangerous and worst possible material you could ship". The first shipment – in the converted ferry Atlantic Osprey – was about to leave Cumbria for a French nuclear complex at Cap la Hague in March, when the plan was exposed in The IoS.

Astute Submarine Programme Under Review

leftBAE Systems has started a review of its troubled Astute nuclear submarine programme after discovering problems that could further delay the Royal Navy taking charge of the first vessel. The £3.8bn project to design and build the first three attack submarines has for years been overshadowed by rising costs and was the subject of a huge rift between BAE and the Ministry of Defence  But the two sides have presented a united front , saying that they had launched a review "to determine how best to minimise the impact on the programme. A formal announcement will be made at the appropriate time."

It is understood the difficulties relate to a series of issues, including electrical faults and delays getting components. But BAE, which is constructing the vessels at Barrow-in-Furness, has also faced severe workforce skill shortages.

The company, Europe's largest defence business, was "confident" that the first Astute would meet its timetable of 2009, but admitted there was no certainty of this until the review was complete.

Stop the Slaughter

As we go to press the world watches in horror at the unfolding tragedy that is Gaza. Israel’s bombing campaign and ground offensive has left hundreds dead and thousands injured. Across the world millions have demonstrated their solidarity with the people of Gaza and the United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire and lifting of the blockade

Risk of nuclear disaster at Faslane shiplift

ImageFolllowing a Freedom of Information request from Scottish CND the Ministry of Defence have released risk assessments for a major nuclear accident on the shiplift at Faslane.   The heavily redacted internal reports say that the risk is "close to the tolerability criterion level".

No to NATO protest Perth

The No to NATO coalition have organised a protest outside the SNP conference on Friday 19 October. The conference is taking place in the Concert Hall, Mill St, Perth. The protest will be from 12 noon to 5 pm, when the conference is debating a possible move away from the SNP's current opposition to membership of NATO. Buses have been booked from Glasgow and Edinburgh

Help support the Global Ban Treaty Negotiations

Talks begin at the United Nations on June 15 to negotiate a Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

Most countries in the world support this treaty , which will put an international legal prohibition on nuclear weapons.It will not get rid of nuclear weapons overnight but it will spur long overdue process towards disarmament.

Coverage of this important treaty is almost non-existent in the traditional media.

Scottish CND are asking our members and supporters to use tools like radio phone ins and letters to the press to help publicise this important treaty.

It may also be possible to raise questions with  election candidates at hustings meetings or in letters or e mails to candidates.

You  can get background information which will help in compiling questions for election candidates and the media by checking the International Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons at www.icanw.org