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Alarm as US Considers Resumption of Nuclear Weapon Testing

Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners have reacted with alarm at the news that the US is considering a resumption of the live testing of nuclear weapons as a further sign of the roll-back of global nuclear arms control measures.

Live testing of nuclear weapons by the US ceased in 1992. There were tests by India and Pakistan until 1998. Since then the only live tests have been by North Korea, most recently in 2017. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was adopted by the UN in 1996 but has failed to acquire the necessary state ratifications (including that of the US) to enter into force. Since the cessation of live tests the US and the UK have relied on computer modelling. To date, computer modelling has been assumed to be adequate for testing the validity of the weapons, leading to the suggestion that the US announcement is a political move. The announcement adds to concern around the erosion of nuclear arms control measures. 

Lynn Jamieson, chair of Scottish CND said:

"It is chilling to see the hard-won restraints on nuclear weapons being deliberately struck down by the current US administration. Posturing about nuclear testing makes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty the latest treaty in line for provocative disregard. A new Cold War is too tame a description for their reckless conduct. As COVID-19 and climate change remind us, the world is an interconnected system - any nuclear exchange threatens all life on Earth. The risk of global disaster is so great and so continuous that the only sane response is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. There is a route-map for that - the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

Emma Cockburn, SCND's Campaign Worker said:

"While healthcare providers are being pushed to breaking point across the world and hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the pandemic, the nuclear states continue to pour billions into nuclear weapons, increasing global instability and blatantly ignoring the ongoing climate emergency. Our world is on fire and people are drowning and the last thing we should be considering is the threat of nuclear winter and even more poisoned land from testing. It is time we redirected our focus from military power to tackle these threats to humanity and put people and planet first." 

CONTACT: Lynn Jamieson - 0797 4631 397, Emma Cockburn - 0746 0856 568

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