Another successful year for Nukewatch. Warhead convoys were tracked from Aldermaston to Coulport near Faslane, via the M25, past Peterborough, Leeds, Newcastle, Carlisle and Stirling. Special Nuclear Materials convoys were tracked to Rolls Royce Nuclear in Derby, to USAF Brize Norton and UKAEA Harwell in Oxfordshire, as well as between the two AWE sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield.
How Nukewatchers do it
To monitor convoys, we climb trees in the pouring rain, traipse across fields in blazing sun or frosty fog, stand on bridges and sit at roundabouts listening to the radio – if we're lucky! In order to report on convoys out on the roads, Nukewatchers spend a good many of the 365 days in the year checking bases and routes without finding anything. Far from being disheartened, we know that sooner or later we will spot a nuclear convoy and be able to alert the peace movement, media and local authorities en route. Nukewatch USA does the same job in the States, although their distances are far greater than we have to face.
Apart from fuelling the nuclear weapons threat, convoys pose the real risk of an unthinkable accident. Nuclear convoys out in the community might seem to be a soft terrorist target, but compared with moving vehicles, convoys stationary in a base are far more vulnerable. Nevertheless, Nukewatch has taken a decision only to report publicly on movements after the event, unless the public are at risk after an accident. This Citizen Verification is the only way we can inspect the actual existence of British nuclear weapons and predict the current numbers of warheads in the stockpile, currently about 184. Our annual logs of convoy movements are sent to MPs, NGOs, Local Authorities, the Peace Movement and the media. Please let us know if you can help in 2003. Join the activists, teachers, secretaries, truckers and others who report in to Nukewatch with sightings of convoys.
Submarine Reactor Fuel Convoys
This year, 2003, the re-fitting of the Vanguard Trident submarine reactor in Devonport will involve the delivery of new fuel plates from Rolls Royce Nuclear in Derby to Plymouth. Nukewatch hopes to monitor some of these road convoys on their dash south.
Why Nukewatchers do it
This a peculiar job, but without it, we would be back to leaving the military to their mysterious nuclear war preparations with apparent indifference to the process. We know that over the years, the Ministry of Defence Police, Marines escort, and until this year the RAF, respect Nukewatch for its diligence and success. Every time, the convoys fail to get through without being logged, and every time, the MoD has failed to keep its wicked secret. That is what keeps us going year after year.
Support for Nukewatch
The Network of North, Middle, East and South Nukewatch wishes to thank CND for its long-standing financial support to meet the constantly rising cost of fuel and phone bills.