Proliferation

Letter Dr T Douglas Reilly: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal) is excellent; it is far better and more extensive than I ever expected. If followed by all parties, it blocks all avenues for Iran to develop nuclear explosives. To be sure, it is vehemently opposed by Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu and Republicans in Congress. I am a physicist who worked in nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation for 38 years at the Los Alamos national laboratory; the majority of my efforts were for and with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that has the responsibility of inspecting the nuclear facilities of states signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). Among other things, I developed programmes that have been part of the initial IAEA inspectors’ training since 1980. I’ve trained many of the inspectors who inspect Iran today, and have inspected Iran’s facilities since it signed and ratified the NPT shortly after it came into force in 1970.

Guardian 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017

Trident

Nuclear bomb bases on the Clyde are being targeted with blockades, break-ins and a series of other protests next month. The campaign group, Trident Ploughshares, is organising a disarmament camp at an ancient oak woodland it owns near the UK’s nuclear weapons store at Coulport on Loch Long from 8-16 July. The protest is timed to coincide with the close of United Nations (UN) negotiations between 130 countries on a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The UK government, along with other nuclear weapons states, has boycotted the talks in New York.

Herald 25th June 2017 read more »

The Labour leader reportedly told the Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis that he would be in Downing Street within six months and would begin getting rid of the nuclear weapons systems. Mr Eavis recounted a conversation he had had with Mr Corbyn backstage to an audience on Sunday at the Somerset festival.

Express 25th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 June 2017

Greenland

Over the last century, many glaciers have pulled back farther than humans have ever previously witnessed. While the retreat of glaciers, and changes in the cryosphere more generally (which includes ice sheets and permafrost), can be seen as purely symbolic representations of the unwavering march of climate change, they are shifting geography as they melt and thaw, leaving dangerous implications behind. Camp Century is only one such instance. Built underneath the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet in 1959 by the the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of Project Iceworm, the project was designed to create a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites in Greenland. Intended to study the deployment and potential launch of ballistic missiles within the ice sheet, the base was eventually abandoned and decommissioned in 1967.

Mother Jones 12th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 June 2017

Trident

This week Theresa May, rightly as prime minister, made a very sympathetic statement in support of families and friends of flat dwellers in the Grenfell Tower who have died or been injured. This follows earlier statements this month expressing her abhorrence of more innocent civilians people dying at the hands of ruthless maniacal terrorists in Manchester and London. Yet she seems sanguine over launching Trident in our national “defence”, which would kill millions of innocent civilians. On the weekend before Election day, Mrs May asserted in an article in theMail on Sunday, that Jeremy Corbyn held chilling views on Trident nuclear WMDs, because he would not use them. Indeed, in the Parliamentary debate on Trident renewal on 18 July last year when SNP’s George Kerevan, asked her: “Are you prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children?” Mrs May replied with one word: “Yes.”

Dr David Lowry’s Blog 15th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 16 June 2017

Nuclear Security

Proposed budget cuts to a police force responsible for protecting the Trident nuclear base and other defence sites are “frightening” at a time of heightened security concerns, their representative Eamonn Keating is set to warn in a speech. He will say that just last week, two sites on the south coast were threatened with withdrawal of all defence police force presence to make savings and that this “is frightening from a security perspective.” Keating, national chairman of the Defence Police Federation, will say the Ministry of Defence was seeking £12.5m isavings from the MoD police, which he estimates would see the force drop from its nominal strength of around 2,600 to below 2,300.

Guardian 15th June 2017 read more »

Cornwall; Live 15th June 2017 read more »

Plymouth Herald 15th June 2017 read more »

Mirror 14th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 June 2017

Devonport

People in Saltash and Torpoint are being given important safety information on what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency at Devonport Dockyard. Homes and business that fall within the official public information zone are being sent a booklet which provides information about radiation, together with instructions to follow in the event of an accident. The booklets, which are updated once every three years to comply with Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations, tell the public what to do in ‘the very unlikely event’ that this happens.

Cornish Times 12th June 2017 read more »

Cornwall Live 12th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 June 2017

Submarines

A US Navy Virginia class attack submarine has visited Faslane today in a routine stop-off. The submarine arrived at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom earlier today.

US Defense Journal 12th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 June 2017

Nuclear Proliferation

The Nuclear Security conference began on Thursday in Oslo with a focus on finding solutions to the danger of the spread of nuclear weapons. Erlan Idrissov, the former foreign minister of Kazakhstan, pointed to what he described as difficulties between the world’s two largest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia. “For us, this is a matter of concern. We have to unite. We have to come up with one voice to press on them and press with others who have, who possess nuclear weapons, to get rid of this disaster and danger forever,” he said during the event in the Norwegian capital. Idrissov, who now serves as the Kazakh ambassador to the United Kingdom, referred to his own country’s strong stance against nuclear weapons. “We are very young, we are 25 years old. But we, at the start of our independence back in 1992, were the fourth-largest nuclear power in the world,” he said. By the mid-1990s, Idrissov said that Kazakhstan had destroyed all of the roughly 1,400 nuclear weapons the country inherited after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Latin American Herald Tribune 9th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 June 2017

Finland

Finland — Beneath a forested patch of land on the Gulf of Bothnia, at the bottom of a steep tunnel that winds for three miles through granite bedrock, Finland is getting ready to entomb its nuclear waste. If all goes well, sometime early in the next decade the first of what will be nearly 3,000 sealed copper canisters, each up to 17 feet long and containing about two tons of spent reactor fuel from Finland’s nuclear power industry, will be lowered into a vertical borehole in a side tunnel about 1,400 feet underground. As more canisters are buried, the holes and tunnels — up to 20 miles of them — will be packed with clay and eventually abandoned.

New York Times 9th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 June 2017

Israel

Israel had a “doomsday” plan to detonate a nuclear bomb in Egypt’s Sinai desert if they felt they were in danger of losing the Six Day War in 1967, according to a report in the New York Times. The scheme was designed to frighten Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan if Israel’s existence was threatened during the war, which took place 50 years ago this week. The idea, never before publicly disclosed, was told to Avner Cohen, an Israeli author, by Itzhak Yaakov, a retired Brigadier General responsible for the development of nuclear weapons.

Telegraph 4th June 2017 read more »

What’s known is that American intelligence officials, beginning in the 1960s and continuing to this day, suspect Israel stole highly enriched uranium from the United States to start its clandestine nuclear weapons program — a program whose very existence Israel denies. And the source of that uranium was the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (NUMEC) in Apollo, run by visionary Jewish-American scientist and Israel supporter Zalman Shapiro of Pittsburgh. The allegations — never proven — that Shapiro diverted 200 pounds of highly enriched uranium from his company to Israel dogged him to his death last year despite growing evidence the “lost” uranium never left the Kiski Valley.

TribLive 4th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 June 2017