October 2014

Nuclear Radioactive wasteAn MoD decision to rule out storing radioactive waste from old nuclear submarines in Devonport will “clean up” the image of the region, says a campaigner. Devonport in Plymouth had been on the long list of sites to keep intermediate level nuclear waste until a long-term storage solution comes into operation after 2040. The MoD has now named a shortlist of five sites – all outside the West Country. Tony Staunton, from the Plymouth branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), welcomed the news. Western Morning News [NB: The sites on the shortlist are Aldermaston, Burghfield, Capenhurst, Chapelcross and Sellafield.]


The UK is poised to quietly ratify a defence treaty that critics say will see it become more dependent on US expertise for its multi-billion pound Trident nuclear weapons programme, without the agreement being scrutinised by MPs. Nuclear proliferation experts have expressed concern that the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement, laid before parliament earlier this month and due to be extended for a further 10 years, may be adopted without debate. Under revised terms, existing cooperation on the design of the UK’s nuclear warheads will be extended to allow similar collaboration on the nuclear reactors that power the new fleet of submarines carrying the UK’s Trident ballistic missiles. The future of Trident is due to be decided in 2016. All three main political
parties back the programme. Dr Nick Ritchie, a lecturer in international security at the
University of York, said the sharing of nuclear weapons technology between the UK and the US was a form of “legalised proliferation” that raised questions about the relationship between the allies. Observer

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