CND Press Digest: Tuesday 9th July 2024

Posted: 9th July 2024

Nukes in Britain

  • Dave Lammy and John Healey write in the Telegraph: This Labour Government will have a ‘NATO first’ defence strategy. The alliance is the ultimate guarantor of all members’ ability to live freely and build a secure, more prosperous future for their people.
  • The Scotsman: A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland takes a look at the impact of tensions during the postwar years of the nuclear age, writes curator Dr Sarah Harper.

Global Nukes

  • Defense News: The US military will continue developing its new LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile but has told the US Air Force to restructure the program to get its ballooning costs under control. Even a “reasonably modified” version of the Northrop Grumman-made Sentinel will likely cost $140.9 billion, 81% more than the program’s original cost estimate of $77.7 billion, the Pentagon said in a statement. If Sentinel continues on its current path without being modified, the likely cost will be about $160 billion, it said.

UK Nuclear Power

  • The Telegraph: French state energy giant EDF has pulled out of the competition to build mini-nuclear reactors in Britain, as it takes its blueprints back to the drawing board. The company had been vying with five others to win government support for its small modular reactor (SMR) design, with two winners set to be chosen by the end of the year.
  • ITV: Some of the biggest names in nuclear have come together to discuss the future of the industry under a Labour government. Leading figures are hopeful that the new government will listen to their plans for the future.
  • Westminster Confidential[A whistleblower who] was a loyal Sellafield employee for decades - in a potentially highly dangerous nuclear waste site where over 140 tons of plutonium is stored including from nuclear military waste warheads – and he was one of a large number of people employed to secure safety at the plant. Some eight years ago he began to raise safety issues leading to what is said to be a highly critical issue. An email sent to the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the watchdog body, outlines his story. After raising this at a whistleblower pre-meeting in 2022 followed by a meeting with the former chief executive, Martin Chown, he suddenly found he was subject to an internal disciplinary inquiry by Sellafield based on the bogus claim that he had brought alcohol on the premises which is strictly forbidden at Sellafield. Terrified that they would try to pin this false claim on him, the employee voluntarily went to a local police station and submitted to a blood test, which revealed that he had zero alcohol in his system.

Nuclear Power

  • Beyond NuclearThe pro-nuclear bros are intent on selling us small modular reactors, but their happy talk is rooted in misinformation, writes Ed Lyman. Even casual followers of energy and climate issues have probably heard about the alleged wonders of small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs. This is due in no small part to the “nuclear bros”: an active and seemingly tireless group of nuclear power advocates who dominate social media discussions on energy by promoting SMRs and other “advanced” nuclear technologies as the only real solution for the climate crisis. But as I showed in my 2013 and 2021 reports, the hype surrounding SMRs is way overblown, and my conclusions remain valid today. Unfortunately, much of this SMR happy talk is rooted in misinformation, which always brings me back to the same question: If the nuclear bros have such a great SMR story to tell, why do they have to exaggerate so much?
  • Construction Briefing: Bill Gates’ TerraPower has become the first US power company to break ground on what could be a new generation of smaller more efficient nuclear reactors. But can small modular reactors (SMRs) really ever be commercially viable? Lucy Barnard speaks to the man responsible for building it to find out.
  • The Bulletin on the opening of the world’s first permanent underground nuclear waste dump in Finland and how US plans to triple its nuclear power capacity has not properly considered what to do with the increase in radioactive waste.
  • World Nuclear News: Holtec International has joined the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the US Federal Government in filing petitions asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the licence for a proposed interim storage facility for used fuel to be built in New Mexico.

Nuclear Fusion

  • New Scientist: Is the world’s biggest fusion experiment dead after new delay to 2035? ITER, a €20 billion nuclear fusion reactor under construction in France, will now not switch on until 2035 – a delay of 10 years. With smaller commercial fusion efforts on the rise, is it worth continuing with this gargantuan project?

NATO / Europe

  • ICANTrue security for NATO requires moving away from nuclear weapons.
  • PoliticoUkraine builds a NATO-lite while it waits for the real thing.
  • Politico12 people to keep an eye on at the NATO summit. A guide to some of the most interesting characters in Washington this week planning for the future of the alliance.
  • BBC: This NATO summit could save or sink Biden’s candidacy.
  • Financial TimesWhy NATO may be the last thing on leaders’ minds at the alliance’s summit.
  • Washington Post: A revived NATO marks 75 years, but political uncertainty clouds its future.
  • FTWhy Spain is NATO’s laggard on defence spending. EU’s fourth-biggest economy contributes a lower share of GDP to the military than any other ally
    Emerging RisksIAEA has called on Russia to halt drone attacks in the vicinity of Zaporizhzhya.
  • The Sun reports on Russian intelligence claims that it foiled a Ukrainian plot to hijack a Russian TU-22M3 strategic bomber capable of delivering nuclear weapons.


  • Bloomberg: NATO backs effort to save internet by rerouting to space in event of subsea attacks.

AUKUS / Asia-Pacific

  • Financial ReviewControl of the sea is worth gambling on AUKUS. To any objective observer it is apparent acquiring nuclear-powered submarines has significant advantages for Australian national security. However, these come with major costs and risks.



Pádraig McCarrick


Press and Communications Officer

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

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