CND Press Roundup Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Posted: 4th May 2022

War In Ukraine

  • CND General Secretary Kate Hudson is quoted in The Morning Star on this summer’s upcoming NATO exercises, which will see 8,000 British soldiers take part. “Rather than escalating the scale and scope of Nato’s annual provocative and wasteful exercises, with their attendant carbon boot print, our government should throw all its energy into seeking a negotiated settlement before nuclear war destroys us all. The countdown is on while our government is in denial. There’s nothing to be gained by military posturing and everything to be lost,” Hudson said.

  • The UK and Ireland could be drowned under a ‘nuclear tsunami,’ according to a programme aired on Russia’s state-backed Channel One. The Sunday prime time show hosted by Dmitry Kiselyov claimed a Russian nuclear warhead released by a Poseidon underwater drone was capable of drowning the country under a 500-metre tidal wave of radioactive seawater. “The explosion of this thermonuclear torpedo by Britain’s coastline will cause a gigantic tsunami wave. Having passed over the British Isles, it will turn whatever might be left of them into a radioactive wasteland,” Kiselyov said.

  • Responding to the threat that the UK and Ireland could be drowned in radioactive seawater, former Irish army ranger and member of Ireland’s Parliament, Cathal Barry, said Ireland had no way of defending itself from such an attack but its intention was to “scare” the public. “There’s a lot of focus on how we can help Ukraine, but there hasn’t been any focus on how Ireland is going to defend its own jurisdiction if this conflict escalates. We’ve no idea where the conflict is going to go, whether it’s going to escalate or not, and how it’s going to end up,” Barry told The Times. “Unfortunately, this country is utterly defenceless. Whenever I talk to my European colleagues they say ‘all we’re asking Ireland to do is to not be a burden on everyone else’s defence and security’. European countries are concerned that Ireland would be used as a base to attack them.”

  • Despite the bellicose rhetoric from Channel One (see above), Russia’s news agency TASS quotes a foreign ministry official – who calls for the risks of a nuclear confrontation to be kept to a minimum, and that nuclear-armed powers avoid an armed conflict. “The risks of nuclear war, which should never be unleashed, must be kept to a minimum, in particular through preventing any armed conflict between nuclear powers,” Vladimir Yermakov, the foreign ministry’s head of nuclear non-proliferation said on Saturday.

  • US billionaire and investment magnate Warren Buffett has toldshareholders that there is no insurance for a nuclear war. “There’s going to be more accidents in connection with atomic [weapons] — we’ve come close various times…We can’t do anything about it,” Buffett warned those attending the AGM of Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday. Ajit Jain, who runs Berkshire’s insurance operations, added: “When it comes to a nuclear thing you know, I sort of surrender…It’s very difficult for us to estimate how bad that can be…Very many different lines of exposure will be affected by it.”

  • The great-granddaughter of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev has called the present conflict in Ukraine more dangerous than the stand-off Khrushchev oversaw with the US during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Speaking to the Today programme, academic Nina Khrushcheva said it was “clear” the current conflict was a proxy war between Russia and the West. “We are closer to more issues, nuclear, than any other way, because I don’t see today any side, particularly the Russian side, backing off, and that’s what really scares me the most,” she said.

Global Abolition

  • Christian CND’s Russell Whiting writes for Labour Outlook, on the The Nuclear Weapons Financing Research Group’s campaign to get bank and pension providers to divest from companies involved in making nuclear weapons. On progress for the campaign in the UK he writes: “In the UK we have seen how contact from customers can spark action amongst financial institutions. We have already had some engagement with Barclays, HSBC and NEST, which we understand is currently undertaking a review of its own policies. But we need you to help us amplify the voices of those calling for change around the world.”


  • SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said the war in Ukraine will not impact plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Sturgeon noted that “everybody in the European Union is fundamentally rethinking defence and security” as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but this did not mean that the SNP needed more flexibility on the issue of keeping the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. “My party is very strongly in principle and for practical reasons against nuclear weapons, and that’s not going to change. We’ve got to remember that the vast majority of countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons,” Sturgeon said.


  • The Guardian canvassed the opinion of Australian readers on the local issues concerning them in this month’s federal election. Max writes in expressing concern over the possibility of a new naval base in the Wollongong suburb of Port Kembla – which could house Australia’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines made under the AUKUS pact. “This announcement was made with no consultation with the community, no proposal for consultation moving forward and a potential for my home to have a giant target on its back,” he said. Check out the candidate’s responses here.

UK Nuclear Energy

  • The UK government is seeking nuclear expertise and investment from South Korea, as it scrambles to find outside partners to join its drive to boost nuclear energy output. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has held talks with the state-owned Korea Electric Power Corporation on investing in British nuclear production, with government officials telling The Daily Telegraph that Whitehall wanted to work with “like-minded, democratic allies” to develop further projects – although no specific projects have been agreed. If Korean involvement is secured, it would mark a return to the UK market after 2018’s failed attempt to agree a deal to “rescue a floundering nuclear plant project in Moorside, Cumbria.”

  • The life of the Hinkley Point B nuclear reactor could be extended by 18 months, under UK government plans to wean reliance off oil and gas, and to prevent a sharp decline in the number of online nuclear reactors in Britain. Hinkley Point B was slated to be shut down this summer, but pressure from industry leaders and the ear of a nuclear-friendly Prime Minister could see the plan come to fruition. However, a volte face from shutdown to life-extension operations would require the plant’s owner – the French firm EDF – to submit a safety case to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), proving that the plant’s reactor is in good enough condition to produce power without risk of a nuclear accident.

Nuclear Energy

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has charged his nuclear energy minister with visiting three possible locations for a new nuclear power plant and to submit action plans on its development. It comes as Pyongyang seeks to build new reactors in order to increase its domestic electricity production.

  • Finland has pulled the plug on a nuclear power plant with Russia’s Rosatom, citing the war in Ukraine and delays in delivering the project. Fennovoima – a Finnish consortium made up of state-backed energy companies and Rosatom subsidiary RAOS – said the decision was due to “significant and growing delays during the last years” which had been compounded by the war in Ukraine. Expressing its disappointment in the decision, Rosatom said the project had been “progressing”, adding that it reserved the right to defend its interests “in accordance with applicable contracts and laws.”

  • Beyond Nuclear has a piece debunking three myths of renewable energy: 1. A grid that increasingly relies on renewable energy is an unreliable grid; 2. Countries like Germany must continue to rely on fossil fuels to stabilize the grid and back up variable wind and solar power; and 3. Because solar and wind energy can be generated only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, they cannot be the basis of a grid that has to provide electricity 24/7, year-round.

Iran Nuclear Deal

  • Reuters has some analysis on efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – and the growing belief among Western diplomats that negotiations will come to moot. It was hoped that a return to the pact – ditched by Donald Trump in 2018 – was in sight in March, with negotiators descending on Vienna to finalise the deal. But last minute demands by Russia and a call by Iran to have its Revolutionary Guard removed by from Washington’s terrorism list – has been met by opposition from many US lawmakers in what’s becoming a tough election cycle for US President Joe Biden. “If they’re not prepared to drop extraneous demands, continue to insist on lifting the FTO [Foreign Terrorist Organization], and refuse to address our concerns that go beyond the JCPOA then, yes, we’re going to reach an impasse that is probably not going to be surmountable,” said on senior US official. “Is it dead? We don’t know yet and frankly we don’t think Iran knows either,” the official added.

Best wishes,

Pádraig McCarrick

Press and Communications Officer
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

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