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Blix:- Britain is at nuclear crossroads

Hans Blix, the UN\'s chief weapons\' inspector, will tell a delegation of Scottish church leaders and politicians that Britain is \"at a crossroads \" which could influence the global spread and development of new nuclear arms. The Rt Rev Alan McDonald, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Lord Ronald King Murray, the former lord advocate, are among 20 anti-nuclear lobbyists on a fact-finding mission to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. He said \"Any state contemplating the modernisation of its nuclear weapon systems must consider such action in the light of all relevant treaty obligations and its duty to contribute to the international nuclear disarmament process. \"France and Britain are now at a crossroads. Going down one road would show their conviction that nuclear weapons are not necessary for their security. Going down the other would demonstrate to all states a belief that these weapons continue to be indispensable.\" Mr Blix\'s comments came as Ministry of Defence figures show that £4.4bn has been spent on research at Aldermaston between 1993 and this year. There is also a commitment to invest a further £5bn of taxpayers\' money to build a series of super-computers, and to recruit specialists for work on new nuclear warheads for the next generation of weapons.