From the Papers

December 2015

Banking: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been accused of making money from weapons of mass destruction after it was named as the biggest financial backer of nuclear bombs in the UK. New international analysis by disarmament groups reveals that over the last four years RBS has lent £4.5 billion to 21 major companies involved in nuclear weapons in the UK, the US, France and India. They include firms that work on the Trident weapons systems, such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering and Serco.

 

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said plans for a new submarine-launched nuclear torpedo shown on Kremlin-controlled television were secret and should never have been aired. NTV and Channel One showed a large document – filmed over a military officer’s shoulder during a meeting with Putin – with drawings and details of a weapons system called Status-6.

 

USA: Plutonium for the first nuclear explosion left the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in February 1945. One century later — decades from today — remediation of the radioactive mess left behind will still be ongoing if a proposed agreement between the State of Washington and U.S. Department of Energy is approved. The deal allows for a 17-year delay in vitrifying the nastiest waste sitting in tanks scattered around the 596-square-mile reservation bordering the Columbia River. That would push start-up to 2039, although the state is shooting for 2034.

 

India: India and Australia have finalised their nuclear deal, which will make it possible for India to source uranium from Australia. After the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the new Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull in Antalya, Turkey, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, the two countries announced the exchange of instruments of ratification.