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Nuclear Non-Proliferation News

September 10, 2007

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Welcome to Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, a monthly news service from the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy.

In this month's edition, the Acronym Institute notes with deep regret the death of Air Marshall Lord Garden. As Convener of the All-party Parliamentary group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation, Tim Garden was able to engage politicians from all parties in reasoned discussion and debate on non-proliferation. His expertise, intellect, hard work, and friendly, cooperative way of working on these issues will be greatly missed.

This weekend First Minister of the Scottish Parliament Alex Salmond (Scottish Nationalist) has announced a Trident summit to take place next month. In response to a letter from Green MSP Robin Harper, Salmond wrote, "I want to get to a position where we can persuade the UK government to change its stance both on the replacement programme and on the general principle of maintaining a nuclear deterrent." The summit is expected also to increase pressure on Westminster over the transport of nuclear weapons to and from the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport.

The risks asssociated with nuclear weapons continue to be highlighted with the news that a US B-52 bomber flew across the central United States with six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads mistakenly attached to the airplane's wing.

The Herald's Defence Correspondent Ian Bruce reports that the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston is "secretly working on the design of a revamped British nuclear warhead". This warhead is described as a UK version of the controversial US Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW).

The divergeances between the US and Russia over missile defence and deteriorating relations between NATO and Russia continue to dominate the headlines. This month Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos speak out against US plans to deploy the system in Eastern Europe, whilst UK fighter jets have been launched to intercept Russian military planes reported to have been patrolling in NATO airspace.

The BBC and Scottish newspapers report on increased campaigning at Faslane, in the run up to the October 1 demonstration at the Trident base.

The anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought many stories in the US and British media arguing that the bombings were justified, but also calls for further progress on elimination of nuclear weapons.

In this month's edition

An archive of press coverage is available on our website at: www.acronym.org.uk/news. We welcome your comments and feedback. Please send your comments to info@acronym.org.uk.

Salmond calls Trident Summit

Bringing nuclear warheads up north? Not if I have my way, warns Salmond
Hamish MacDonell and James Kirkup, Scotsman, September 10, 2007
ALEX Salmond has told officials to explore every possible avenue in an attempt to prevent the UK government from transporting nuclear warheads across Scotland, it emerged last night. The First Minister has also called a "Trident summit" for next month to increase the pressure on Westminster over the movement of nuclear warheads to the Faslane submarine base.

Salmond: I will ban nuclear traffic
Tom Gordon, Sunday Times, September 9, 2007
THE Scottish first minister Alex Salmond is to issue a direct challenge to Westminster’s control of UK defence policy by seeking to ban the transportation of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil.

Pressure on Westminster to scrap Trident
Kevin Schofield, The Herald, September 7, 2007
Bruce Crawford, the Minister for Parliamentary Business, told said the summit was a chance for Scots to discuss whether the country should have a non-nuclear future. advertisement He said: "The aim is to bring together interested parties and representatives of civic Scotland to discuss the impact new weapons of mass destruction would have on Scotland, and to ask how a Scotland without nuclear weapons would look.

Harper calls for nuclear weapons road risk probe
Nicholas Christian, Scotland on Sunday, August 5, 2007
GREEN party leader Robin Harper has demanded an inquiry into roads being used to transport nuclear weapons. The Lothians MSP has written to First Minister Alex Salmond claiming emergency planning exercises show that government agencies are ill-prepared for an accident.

Trident and the UK Nuclear Programme

Britain in top-secret work on new atomic warhead
Exclusive by IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent, The Herald
Scientists are secretly working on the design of a revamped British nuclear warhead. The new device, designated the High Surety Warhead is understood to be under development at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

Technology sharing that became dependence
Ian Bruce, Defence Correspondent, The Herald
Britain has been allowed to share America's nuclear weapons technology since 1958 as part of a fairly one-sided defence pact, set up originally to counter the threat of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.

Dounreay likely site for new reactor
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor, Sunday Herald
A NEW reactor could be sited at Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland as part of the UK government's plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system over the next decade. The submarines that will carry the warheads are planned to be powered by a new type of nuclear reactor. But before it goes to sea, it will have to be checked for safety and reliability at a land-based testing facility.

Atomic Energy Authority in bid for Trident stake
By Tim Webb, The Independent, September 6, 2007
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is among the bidders for the Government's one-third stake in the company responsible for running the Trident submarine nuclear missile programme at Aldermaston.

AWE to get new factory
By Robert Rowlands, Newburytoday.co.uk, August 15, 2007
A COMPONENTS manufacturing facility will be built at the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s Burghfield site, under plans being considered by West Berkshire Council. The new building would put under one roof operations that currently take place in a number of buildings at both AWE Burghfield and AWE Aldermaston.

Commander has a pot at his drunken sailors
Sunday Mail, September 2, 2007
A NAVY chief has hit out at the thuggish behaviour of sailors based at Faslane on the Clyde. Commander Peter Adams said a series of riots had tarnished the nuclear base's reputation. Sailors staying at the nuclear base, near Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, have gone on drunken rampages, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage on site.

Preparing for Thorp to restart
The Whitehaven News, August 16, 2007
THORP is almost there after the three-year shutdown caused by a massive leak of radioactive liquor for which Sellafield operators BNG were fined £500,000 for safety breaches.

US Nuclear Programme

In Error, B-52 Flew Over U.S. With Nuclear-Armed Missiles
By Josh White, Washington Post, September 6, 2007
An Air Force B-52 bomber flew across the central United States last week with six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads that were mistakenly attached to the airplane's wing, defense officials said yesterday.

Administration Increases Submarine Nuclear Warhead Production Plan
By Hans M. Kristensen, Strategic Security Blog, A project of the Federation of American Scientists
The Bush administration has decided to more than double the number of nuclear warheads undergoing an expensive upgrade for potential future deployment on the Navy’s 14 ballistic missile submarines, according to answers provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration in response to questions from the Federation of American Scientists.

Microsoft's mapping service uncovers top secret US submarine
By Arnold Zafra, Tech.Blorge.com, September 4, 2007
A Washington State ferry deck officer, Dan Twohig, who was searching for a new home using Microsoft's Virtual Mapping service has accidentally discovered a US nuclear-powered submarine at the Kitsap-Bangor naval base with its propeller exposed while in dock.

Lawmakers Resist White House Push for RRW
By William Matthews, Defense News, August 6, 2007
Two key House lawmakers dismissed as "irresponsible" and "empty rhetoric" a recent warning by the Bush administration that the United States might have to resume underground nuclear weapon tests if Congress fails to approve the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW).

Missile Defence and NATO-Russia Relations

UK jets shadow Russian bombers
BBC News Online, September 6, 2007
The UK's Royal Air Force has launched fighter jets to intercept eight Russian military planes flying in airspace patrolled by Nato, UK officials say.

Slovak PM slams U.S. for missile defense "adventure"
Reuters, September 5, 2007
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico criticized the United States for bypassing NATO with a plan to deploy a missile defense system in central Europe, calling the project an adventure.

Analysis: Putin puts on show of strength to impress voters
Tony Halpin of The Times, in Moscow, Times Online, September 6, 2007
The scrambling of Nato fighter jets occurred as Russia flexed its military muscles across three oceans today and President Vladimir Putin sealed a $1 billion arms deal in Asia.

Britain's role in the new cold war
Matthew Holehouse, New Statesman, August 30, 2007
For years the Soviet Union and the US managed an uneasy balance of power. Now Russia is challenging Bush's dreams of full spectrum dominance. And, as the rhetoric heats up, a corner of Yorkshire finds itself on the front line.

U.S. missile shield is provocation: Austrian minister
Reuters, August 23, 2007
VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos has called U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in eastern Europe a "provocation" reviving Cold War debates.

Russia is commissioning new air based missiles
Pravda, August 16, 2007
One of the top priority directions of the development of Russia's strategic aviation is commissioning the newest air based high precision long range cruise missiles. According to the Commander of the Russian Air Forces general-colonel Alexander Zelin strategic aircraft has always been and remain the main component of the Air Force, part of the strategic nuclear forces and the basic mean of defeating important objects in the territory of the potential enemy, the most universal and mobile type of nuclear deterrence in the multi-polar world.

Putin increases missile defence rhetoric
By Isabel Gorst in Moscow, FT.com, August 12, 2007
The war of words between Moscow and the west over missile defence intensified over the weekend as Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, declared a new radar station near St Petersburg to be “the first step in a large-scale programme”.

Don't rule out Putin's initiative
By Henry A. Kissinger, International Herald Tribune Opinion, August 9, 2007
The debate about missile defense, nearly 50 years old, has been reignited by the plan to deploy elements of the American missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland. Familiar Cold War arguments have re-emerged as Russia challenges the necessity of the deployment and asserts that it is really designed to overcome Russian strategic forces rather than Iranian threats as the Bush administration claims.

Campaigning steps up at Faslane

Second wave at Faslane - 3 more arrested for cycling in to nuclear base
Indymedia.org.uk, September 4, 2007
At 11.00a.m. today, 3 more peace protesters breached security at the North gate of the Faslane nuclear submarine base, entering on bicycles. This second team from the ‘Faslane 365 Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Prevention Team’ follows the earlier arrest of 3 women inside the base. It is understood that they are being charged under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA). The total number of Scottish SOCRAP arrests is now 6.

Japanese atomic bomb survivors arrested during Faslane protest
Craig Brown, The Scotsman, July 26, 2007
SURVIVORS of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack were among those arrested at Faslane naval base yesterday during a protest at plans to renew the Trident nuclear weapon system.

Young teens arrested at Faslane
BBC News Scotland, July 28, 2007
Two 15-year-old girls are thought to be among nine people arrested during a demonstration at the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde.

Nine demonstrators arrested at teachers' Faslane protest
The Herald, August 1, 2007
Nine demonstrators were arrested during a protest by school teachers at the Faslane nuclear base on the Clyde today.

Faslane protest costs police £5m
BBC News Online, September 2, 2007
The cost of policing anti-nuclear protests at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde has reached £5m, new figures have shown.

Airport trespass charges dropped
BBC News Online, August 10, 2007
Eight anti-war protesters have been cleared of trespassing at Prestwick Airport because signs on the fence did not clearly show it was an offence... The anti-nuclear campaign group Trident Ploughshares had previously said that its activists carried out inspections of the airport to look for evidence of US munitions bound for Israel for use in the Lebanon conflict.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries

Hiroshima anniversary
Asahi Shimbun, August 9, 2007
Anniversaries this year marking the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, are being held against an unusual backdrop. The two cities are reeling from former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma's controversial remark that the atomic bombing of Nagasaki "could not be helped."

Terrible, but not a crime
Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be remembered for the suffering which was brought to an end
Oliver Kamm, The Guardian, Comment, August 6, 2007
Today is Hiroshima day, the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. As the wartime generation passes on, our sense of gratitude is increasingly mixed with unease regarding one theatre of the second world war. There is a widespread conviction that, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America committed acts that were not only terrible but also wrong.

62 years after Hiroshima, nuclear weapons still unacceptable
Hideko Tamura - Medford, Ore, Letter published by USA Today, August 8, 2007
American views of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are understandably very different from what I experienced as a child survivor in Hiroshima. Those who believe that the two bombs brought peace and saved lives are limiting their perspectives...

Nagasaki Marks 62nd A-Bomb Anniversary
By Chisaki Watanabe, Associated Press, Guardian Unlimited
TOKYO (AP) - All nuclear powers should eliminate their stockpiles and Japan should turn its no-nuclear weapons policy into law, the mayor of Nagasaki said Thursday at a ceremony marking the 62nd anniversary of the world's second atomic bomb attack.

Read the Hiroshima Peace Delaration at www.acronym.org.uk/docs/0708/doc06.htm and Nagasaki Peace Declaration at www.acronym.org.uk/docs/0708/doc07.htm.

Remembering Lord Garden

Air Marshal Lord Garden
The Telegraph, August 14, 2007
Air Marshal the Lord Garden, who has died aged 63, was a former RAF bomber pilot and flying instructor who was made a Liberal Democrat life peer in June 2004 when he became the party's defence spokesman.

Air Marshal Lord Garden
Rigorous MoD planner, thinktank analyst and Liberal Democrat defence spokesman
Jonathan Fryer, The Guardian, August 14, 2007
Defence analysts are rarely gifted with the ability to expound their views in terms accessible to the general public, but Tim Garden, who has died from cancer at the age of 63, was a notable exception.

Air Marshal Lord Garden
The Independent, August 17, 2007
RAF pilot and shrewd defence analyst who became a Lib Dem spokesman in the House of Lords

Air Marshal Lord Garden
The Times, August 14, 2007
Beginning his RAF career flying Canberra light bombers in Germany in the 1960s and going on to command one of the last squadrons of Vulcan nuclear bombers in the 1970s, Tim Garden early made himself a reputation as an officer who thought deeply about the capabilities – and limitations – of both tactical and strategic air power in the geopolitical situation confronting the Nato allies in the world of the Cold War and afterwards.

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© 2007 The Acronym Institute.