Posted: 4th May 2022
War In Ukraine
CNN has an op-ed from the current president and his immediate predecessor of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, calling for NATO and Russia to “stop playing games on nuclear war.” Noting how much of our continued survival depends on luck they argue: “nuclear weapons, far from being instruments of national security, are the greatest threat to security. The nine nuclear nations must no longer hold their own people and all of humanity hostage. If we are to survive, they must come together and negotiate a verifiable, enforceable timetable to eliminate their nuclear arsenals so they can all join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Sooner or later, our luck will run out.”
The Mirror picks up on comments made by a Russian state-media reporter on social media, saying that Vladimir Putin has little options but to unleash nuclear weapons. Alexander Sladkov, who has been reporting from eastern Ukraine, told his hundreds of thousands of followers that the growing supply of weapons to Ukraine from other countries was leaving the Kremlin no choice. Echoing the “demonstrative” way the US used its nuclear weapon on Japan he wrote: “There is more and more talk about nuclear weapons, and Russia has much to say about it. We have a solution for Ukraine. There are several, yet we are getting reminded about the last resort – nuclear weapons. If no one is going to hear us, and 40 countries keep helping the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis, we will have no way back.”
Russian nobel laureate and journalist Dimitry Muratov has decriedRussia’s use of nuclear threats over the Ukraine conflict. Speaking in Geneva for an event to mark World Press Freedom Day, Muratov said: “For two weeks now, we have been hearing from our television screens that nuclear silos should be opened…we also hear that these horrible weapons should be used should the supplies of weapons to Ukraine continue,” referring to the ramping up of NATO arms transfers to Ukraine. But their use on the battlefield “would not end the war…This will be the end of humanity.”
Pope Francis has called the use and possession of nuclear weapons “inconceivable” during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The Japanese premier visited Rome on Wednesday where the two discussed the war in Ukraine as well as their shared goal of global nuclear disarmament.
Trident / Nukes in the UK
The Times runs a comment from Edinburgh-based columnist Kenny Farquharson, calling on the SNP to have the “guts” to keep nuclear weapons. Pointing to the ongoing security policy discussions in Sweden, Finland, and Germany, he says: “These shifts are serious and substantial. They show a willingness to reconsider the most basic national assumptions. They recognise that protecting political shibboleths would be foolish in the face of a serious challenge to global security.” And on the upcoming decision for the SNP he writes: “The SNP either has this fight with its members or with the voters. Public opinion has not yet been fully tested on Ukraine but my instinct is that the electorate will look unkindly upon any political party whose platform is seen as in any way inimical to the interests of NATO.”
Rae Street writes in the Morning Star on NATO’s eastward expansion, its promotion of the use of nuclear weapons, and why the return of US nukes to RAF Lakenheath must be opposed: “These moves by the US will certainly not lead to global peace. The US is the only country to locate its nuclear weapons outside its own borders and this upgrading is dangerous and destabilising. It will further drag Britain into US-NATO warmongering.”
UK Nuclear Energy
Boris Jonhsnon has defended delays to the development of two nuclear reactors at Sizewell C, saying the development of the plant is “certainly on the agenda.” Speaking on BBC Radio Suffolk, Johnson said the government is aiming to build “a nuclear reactor every year” instead of every decade. On funding, the PM said the plants will be partly paid for by foreign investors as well as the public purse. “I’ve been talking to people in the Gulf, in India, around the world, they see the UK as a massive long-term bet and a brilliant bet…They want to make investments in things that will have a long-term return and where they know the Government is solidly behind it.”
Contractors working on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset have been served with an Improvement Notice, after a worker fell 5 metres from scaffolding in an accident in March. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), who issues the notice said “Thankfully on this occasion the worker did not sustain any serious injuries, but it could have been much more serious.” The ONR added that the contractors must comply with the Improvement Notice by 27th May and “will have no hesitation in taking action if further shortfalls are identified.”
Variety reviews a new documentary that looks at the “uphill public campaigns” of pro-nuclear advocates “as opposed to the pro-nuke arguments themselves.” Neither does it hear from opposing voices on the nuclear debate. In sum, Atomic Hope makes for a “slick globe-trotting documentary that holds attention, yet doesn’t really leave the viewer more enlightened on the subject at hand.”
South Korean and Japanese officials said North Korea launched what is believed to be a ballistic missile on Wednesday, just days after leader Kim Jong-un promised to ramp up Pyongyang’s stockpile of nuclear warheads. The projectile landed in waters to the east of the peninsula, and marks the North’s 14th round of weapons firing. It comes just six days before Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korea’s president-elect, assumes office from the more dovish Moon Jae-in.
Press and Communications Officer
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament