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The virtual option

The BASIC Trident Commission was set up almost a year ago to investigate the United Kingdom's nuclear weapons policy and the issue of Trident renewal and, better late than never, I've just got round to submitting Nuclear Information Service's evidence to the Commission.

Nuclear ethics: forgotten virtues?

Earlier this week I was invited to a meeting of the Birmingham Policy Commission – an initiative set up by the University of Birmingham to examine the arguments for and against nuclear power as a future energy generating technology.

A tale of two reviews

How much of an issue will plans to replace the UK's Trident nuclear weapons be during the next general election campaign?  Although the election is not scheduled to take place until 2015, the battlelines for the Trident debate are already being drawn.

AWE visits to the USA give insight into US-UK nuclear co-operation

Recently revealed information on visits to the United States of America by staff from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has shed a little more light on the nature of US – UK co-operation on nuclear weapons programmes.

Navy's submarine reactors do not meet civilian safety standards

The nuclear reactors which power the Royal Navy's fleet of submarines do not meet civilian standards of safety according to secret documents released to the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament under the Freedom of Information Act.

Vive l'entente cordiale?

Abolition 2000 brought together campaigners and analysts from both sides of the Channel this weekend at a seminar to discuss the implications of the new UK – France Defence and Security Co-operation Treaty.  The Treaty commits the two nations to co-operation over defence and security issues for the next 50 years, with a separate agreement to develop joint facilities for nuclear weapons physics research.

Modifications, upgrades, and new warheads

As well as revealing the precarious state of nuclear safety at the Ministry of Defence, the recently released series of annual safety reports has also revealed some interesting insights into the UK's Trident nuclear warhead programme.

Safety risks reach red at Ministry of Defence

Top-level Ministry of Defence (MoD) reports from the Admirals responsible for the UK's military nuclear safety reveal that a lack of adequate and resources and suitably competent staff may place safety and the environment at risk in the medium term.

Watch out for stealth spending on Trident replacement

Greenpeace UK and CND have been doing some sterling work to establish how much money will be spent on the Trident replacement programme before Parliament decides whether to give the final go-ahead for the programme after the next general election.

The decision on whether to replace Trident can't be put off indefinitely

I went up to London on Tuesday for a lecture at SOAS, where Dr Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation, was speaking on 'Assessing the Nuclear Threat' alongside Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman from Kings College London.  The talk majored on the need to prevent terrorist groups from being able to develop a nuclear weapon, but the subject of Trident replacement came up, and whether the UK government's plans to replace Trident were helpful or unhelpful in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.