CND Press Roundup Friday 5th August 2022

Posted: 5th August 2022

War in Ukraine / NATO

  • A western official has claimed that conditions at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are “okay” – countering warnings made by the UN’s nuclear watchdog that the situation was “out of control”. “We are tracking that power plant, that facility, very closely. We all remember the inherent risks around nuclear sites,” the official said, speaking anonymously. “What I would say, talking more broadly about the nuclear situation, is that I don’t think it’s as dire as it’s being painted in the media at the moment.”


  • US peace activists staged a sit-down protest outside the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, with several arrests. They were expressing their frustration with the slow pace of nuclear disarmament and the US government’s refusal to engage with the TPNW.

  • The Bulletin’s François Diaz-Maurin asks will the 10th NPT review conference rise to the challenge as the world faces a “clouded summer of nuclear proliferation.” But while North Korea gears up to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 and Iran becoming a threshold nuclear power, the “elephant in the room” is how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shook the nuclear world order. He writes: “The lack of a shared and steadfast commitment to nuclear disarmament could prevent NPT Review Conference participants from reaching significant agreements. A possible harbinger of inaction was the first meeting of states parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) last month in Vienna, where participants could not even agree on calling out Russia’s nuclear threats and rhetoric in the context of its invasion of Ukraine. The NPT Review Conference continues at UN headquarters in New York through most of August. Colloquially referred to as the RevCon, the meeting — held every five years — has been the main international forum on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament since the treaty entered into force in 1970. The parties gathered in New York have one month to agree on a set of measures that aim, as [UN Secretary-General Antonio] Guterres put it, ‘to lift the cloud of nuclear annihilation, once and for all.’ It is probably an understatement to say that such an overarching result is unlikely to be reached.”

  • The Astana Times reports on a call by Kazakhstan for the expansion of nuclear-free zones around the world.

Trident / British Testing

  • The Warrington Guardian covers the recent nuclear convoy with comments from CND. Philip Gilligan told the paper: “Less than two weeks ago the M6 northbound was closed for several hours after two HGVs collided, causing gridlock and seven-mile tailbacks. The fire was so intense that the road surface melted. It is terrifying to think that Ministry of Defence HGVs carrying nuclear warheads could have been caught-up in that fire. These convoys are on roads with ever increasing frequency, and dangerous nukes are passing our homes and communities in among everyday traffic on some very busy roads. We do not need nuclear missiles, and we would all be much safer without them on the M6 and the roads that connect to it.”

  • Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has an opinion in The Mirror on the decades-long cover up on the health impacts suffered by Britain’s nuclear test veterans. Linking the testing cover up with other injustices such as the infected blood scandal, Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower he says: “Just as with infected blood, the veterans have had their medical records withheld. In my final speech to Parliament, I called the blood scandal a ‘criminal cover-up on an industrial scale’. Exactly the same label can be applied to the treatment of nuclear test veterans.”

Nuclear Energy

  • It’s nice to see the New Statesman make the distinction when it asks what is the best solution to the climate crisis – nuclear energy or renewables? It short, it deems nuclear the worst option: “The costs of solar, wind power and storage continue to fall, and by 2026 global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise by more than 60 per cent, to a level that would equal the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined, says the IEA. Some argue nuclear can be a clean back-up option for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun isn’t shining. But again, other options already exist, including demand response (for example, plugging in your electric car when there is lots of energy and not switching on your washing machine when the system is under strain), large-scale storage and interconnections between different countries.”

  • CNBC meanwhile reports on how nuclear energy is experiencing a resurgence – but warns that the momentum behind it could be stalled if an accident occurs.

  • And Reuters has two items on nuclear energy including an analysison the drive for new global nuclear projects and a factbox compiling key developments in various countries.

Iran Nuclear Deal

  • A fresh round of last-minute talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is underway - with top diplomats from the US in Iran in Vienna. Iran’s negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and US envoy Rob Malley will indirectly discuss the text of an agreement proposed by the EU. Officials from China and Russia – who were also involved in the 2015 accord – are also in the Austrian capital, making it the first time all parties have gathered for negotiations since March.

Indo-Pacific Tilt

  • The Independent looks at China’s nuclear arsenal as tensions in the Taiwan Strait mount following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei. Beijing responded to the visit by conducting a series of live-fire drills in the strait, which saw one missile fire over northern Taiwan and land in Japanese waters.

  • The Guardian has an extensive time-line in its live blog as well as the latest response by China to Pelosi’s visit – including the halting of military and climate cooperation with Washington.

Nuclear History

  • The final part of Matthew Syed’s series on nuclear weapons is available to listen to on BBC Sounds. While current nuclear tensions are focused on Ukraine, he explores another potential nuclear flashpoint – Pakistan and India. Syed also explores the world of nuclear modelling, and asks if there is a chance for us to explore a safer path. Included in the contributions is ICAN’s Beatrice Fihn.

  • The BBC has a feature on the three nuclear bombs lost by the US – which have yet to be found. 
Best wishes,

Pádraig McCarrick

Press and Communications Officer
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
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