Britain’s nuclear weapons “irrelevant”
Britain’s nuclear weapons are irrelevant to any existing and foreseeable threats posed by foreign states and there is an urgent need for a wider and more informed public and parliamentary debate about their replacement, according to a new study published by the Nuclear Education Trust (NET).
The NET report calls for deeper and more intelligent discussion on the justification for retaining and modernising nuclear weapons before the final decision on replacing Trident is made in 2016, which should cover their expense, their role in the current economic and international climate, and the risks of a nuclear accident and weapons proliferation.
“Britain’s nuclear weapons should be subject to the same cost-effectiveness test and public scrutiny that all public expenditure has to be subjected to,” concludes the report.
See the report at: http://www.nucleareducationtrust.org
AWE funds over 50 British universities
More than fifty universities – over one third of all British universities – have received funding from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the laboratory responsible for designing and manufacturing the UK’s nuclear weapons, according to ‘Atoms for Peace?’ – a new study published jointly by Nuclear Information Service and Medact.
The study concludes that as well as contributing to AWE’s scientific research programmes, academic collaboration also plays an important role in helping to increase the perception of AWE as a reputable scientific institution, provides a pool of graduate recruits for staff posts at AWE, and allows the Establishment to draw on expertise and facilities at universities to support its work.
Scottish MSPs condemn transport of nuclear warheads
Twenty five Members of the Scottish Parliament have supported a motion condemning the transport of nuclear weapons after a nuclear warhead convoy was spotted travelling along the M74 motorway at the end of January.
The motion, lodged by Bill Kidd, Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, expressed “grave concern” at the regular transportation of nuclear weapons along roads in Scotland and pointed out that local authorities with responsibility for emergency planning are not given advance notice to warn them of warhead movements.
The motion was submitted after a warhead convoy was spotted by members of the Nukewatch network travelling along the M74 motorway, which skirts through the south of Glasgow, in the early hours of Wednesday 29 January.
Early Day Motion 1079, tabled on 11th February by Paul Flynn:
That this House notes with alarm the Public Accounts Committee conclusions [on 11 February 2014] that cash esti-mates for nuclear waste at Sellafield exceed £70 billion, time-scales have slipped and reprocessing targets have been missed; believes that these enormous costs need to be strictly controlled so payments are not made to constitute a reward for failure; recalls that when the contract was awarded, Ministers were questioned on the probity of such huge sums being awarded without parlia-mentary scrutiny; further recalls EDM 2321 [ from November 2008] observing the agreement would privatise the profits of the contract leaving the potentially multi-billion pound liabilities with taxpayers; and now invites current Ministers to explain why Nuclear Management Partners have made such a pig’s ear of the task of mana-ging Sellafield safely and within budget.
Please ask your MPs to sign!
The Energy and Climate Change Committee has published a short report
today calling for greater parliamentary scrutiny of the Levy Control Framework (LCF), which caps the cost of the energy and climate change schemes that consumers pay for through their energy bills. (Parliament 17th Feb 2014)