UK Nuclear Weapons

November 2011

The September/October edition of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists,has a long article on UK nuclear weapons, which is at http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/5/89.full

It’s introduction says, “Of all the nuclear weapon states, the United Kingdom has moved the furthest toward establishing a minimum nuclear deterrent, announcing its plans last year to reduce its total stockpile to no more than 180 warheads over the next 15 years”.   
The article says that the reactors of the planned new submarines, and the warheads, will be similar to those of the US, suggesting close British and US collaboration, and gives details of more recent joint projects with France.
At a time of vicious spending cuts, including to UK conventional forces, the new enriched-uranium facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshirewill cost almost £750m.
The initial business case for replacing Trident gave a price of £25bn. But this did not include the costs of decommissioning, the missiles, warheads or infrastructure. Neither did it include the costs of operating the system. Greenpeace estimates the true total cost to be £97bn.   Much of this spending has been agreed without parliamentary scrutiny.  Observer, 2.10