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Scottish Council calls on big pension fund to stop investing in weapons makers

The Ferret 5th March 2021, Inverclyde Council has called on Scotland’s largest council pension fund  to stop investing in arms and to commit to ethical investments. A motion was passed this week after Inverclyde Council was told that Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF) held shares in 11 of the world’s 20 biggest arms manufacturers, including some involved in the production of nuclear weapons. The council’s decision has been welcomed by Campaign Against Arms Trade, Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and Don’t Bank on the Bomb.

March 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

How Scotland’s Dunoon became an American nuclear base, and a target

March 8, 2021 Posted by | Reference, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point B nuclear station to close ‘early’ due to aging graphite blocks

Nuclear Engineering International 3rd March 2021, REPORTS IN THE UK THAT EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point B station would close ‘early’, in 2022, sounded a strange note for nuclear industry veterans. They knew that the venerable advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) on the west coast, on its startup in 1979, was originally expected to have a lifetime of around 25 years.
But in fact, it has been in operation for 40 years and could have more than one more year remaining, if owner EDF Energy takes it to its final end date in mid 2022. But those newspapers had noted that EDF  had hoped to delay final shutdown until 2023. For longstanding opponents of the plant, however, closure comes not a moment too soon — and they believe equally that operation should end at the UK’s remaining AGRs.
At issue is the interlocking graphite blocks that in the AGR design form the reactor core. Opponents argue that years of irradiation have caused so much damage to the blocks that the plants should be out of operation. This is indeed one of the ageing issues that affects AGRs, but the situation, and the decision on whether to close the plant, is more complicated.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Opinion poll – 77% of Ayshire public support a total ban on all nuclear weapons.

Poll gives Ayrshire anti-nuclear campaigners a real boost

Ayrshire CND are greatly encouraged by recent polllling which shows that 77 per cent of the public support a total ban on all nuclear weapons.

1 March 2021  Anti-nuclear campaigners across Ayrshire have been given a huge boost in their battle to force an end to the arms race, writes Stewart McConnell.
Ayrshire CND are greatly encouraged by recent polling which shows that 77 per cent of the public support a total ban on all nuclear weapons.

The survey also showed that almost 60 per cent of people want Britain to sign up to the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which came into force last month.

Group secretary Arthur West, pictured, said:  “This recent polling was organised by CND at UK level in conjunction with the professional polling company Survation and the results are hugely encouraging for our campaign to rid this country and our world of the scourge of nuclear weapons.”

Added the Irvine campaigner:  “This poll confirms that people in this country are realising that nuclear weapons are completely useless in responding to modern day threats such as climate change and the current pandemic.

“The government’s own figures show that the cost of maintaining Britain’s nuclear weapons based at Faslane is an eye watering 2 billion pounds a year.

“This is frankly money which could be better spent on decent things like health and education and creating quality jobs in areas such as renewable energy and affordable house building.”

The opinion poll referred to was organised by CND at UK level in conjunction with polling company Survation and was conducted on January 12-13.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Labour’s nuclear weapons stance needs a rethink

Labour’s nuclear weapons stance needs a rethink,  Guardian, Richard Norton-Taylor
London  28 Feb 21, 
Readers respond to the shadow defence secretary’s announcement that his party’s commitment to Trident is ‘non-negotiable’

You report (Labour to state ‘non-negotiable’ support for UK’s nuclear weapons, 25 February) that the shadow defence secretary, John Healey, says his party’s commitment to nuclear weapons is “non-negotiable”, seemingly taking a harder line even than successive Conservative governments, which have at least supported talks on multilateral nuclear disarmament.

The new Labour leadership in its rhetoric seems more frightened of being accused at home of being weak on defence than a nuclear attack by a foreign power. For years, Whitehall analysts have considered a pandemic more likely than any real threat of a nuclear attack. Yet for years, ministers and opposition frontbenchers ignored the former while exaggerating the latter. Trade union leaders, meanwhile, back a new Trident missile programme and spending more than £200bn on unusable weapons, citing the need to preserve highly skilled jobs. Yet Britain has had to bank on French engineers for civil nuclear power stations of which Britain now appears to be in dire need.

February 28, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jeremy Corbyn – Britain Should Join Nuclear Ban Treaty and Scrap Nukes.

Jeremy Corbyn – Britain Should Join Nuclear Ban Treaty & Scrap Nukes., 27th February 2021  “From coronavirus to environmental destruction to economic inequality, we face threats that the war machine cannot fix, & can only worsen.”

Jeremy Corbyn used a speech at the Stop the War Coalition AGM today to make the case for the labour movement taking a stand against nuclear weapons and US-led wars of intervention.

Speaking to Labour Outlook he said, “The public consensus is changing. One hundred and twenty countries have signed the Treaty on the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons at the UN this year.”

In his speech at the AGM, Jeremy pointed out how three out of five people in the UK think we should join them, and four out of five people support a total ban on all nuclear weapons globally.

Jeremy added, “Something else has happened. People have begun to understand where the real threats to our security are.

From coronavirus to environmental destruction to economic inequality, we face threats that the war machine cannot fix, and can only worsen.”

Yesterday saw Labour members across the country oppose the Party’s leadership decision to say support for nuclear weapons was not negotiable, including Emma Dent Coad and Diane Abbott MP in interviews with this publication.

As Jeremy said at the AGM, “Real security is public health. Real security is education. Real security is being able to eat. Real security is providing decent jobs in a fair economy, jobs that tackle challenges like climate change... [that can lead to] a world free from racism, poverty and war.”
Jeremy Corbyh has been a long-term supporter of both the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. His newly founded Peace and Justice Project is expected to campaign against the arms trade, militarism, and nuclear proliferation as part of its international justice work.

February 28, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Assange’s partner exposes ongoing denial of his legal and democratic rights, 

February 25, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Lobbyists from West Cumbria Mining appointed to Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)

Radiation Free Lakeland 19th Feb 2021, Letter sent today to MP Tim Farron from Radiation Free Lakeland. We haven been looking at West Cumbria Mining’s lobbying over the last several years. While WCM class themselves as a “small company” in order it seems to avoid full filing of company finances, they have been afforded incredible access to key government departments. Access that other Cumbrian small businesses could only dream of.
Meetings have taken place between West Cumbria Mining and at least three government departments including BEIS – the dept which is responsible for CoRWM appointments. The public would rightly assume that CoRWM and other government departments in the interests of transparency and ethics would not ever consider public appointments of individuals who have previously and continue to repeatedly lobby government departments to advance their business interests.
Especially when those business interests include the most controversial coal mine in UK history which coincidently is in the area where the UK government have repeatedly tried to progress Geological Disposal plans despite cumulative scientific evidence that the plan is dangerous (we
wonder how CoRWM expect Mark Kirkbride’s business interests of a coal mine in the same area will make the already complex and faulted geology in the Eastern Irish Sea area safer?)

February 22, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | 1 Comment

Problems in decommissioning legacy nuclear waste silos

Machinery Market 19th Feb 2021, Decommissioning legacy nuclear waste silos on the former UK power generating site at Sellafield requires a large number of bins to be machined to close geometrical tolerances to ensure they can be stacked afely. They are three-metre-cube, double-walled, box fabrications that are highly resonant and, to make their production even more difficult, they are made from 6mm thick Duplex stainless steel plate that tends to induce vibrations when it is milled.
One of the firms leading the Sellafield decommissioning work, Stillington-based Darchem Engineering, had been taking delivery of machined bins from contract machinists BEL Engineering in Newcastle-upon-Tyne since 2017. The problem was, in the words of CEO
Jonathan Lamb: “We wanted to increase productivity but realised that further improvements to the machining process were impossible using conventional machinery and fixturing.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

City giant Legal and General will not be funding Sizewell nuclear project

Telegraph 20th Feb 2021, Sizewell C proves to be a turn-off for City giant Legal & General. Legal & General has ruled out helping to fund the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant, dealing a blow to EDF as it seeks backers for the £20bn project.
EDF is in negotiations with the government about taxpayer support for the planned plant in Suffolk bues of a reactor’s life.
It will also need institutional investors, which it argues can make stable returns over the decad
L&G has not spoken publicly about its plans but in a written response to a pension-holder, one of its investment service consultants said: “I have had it confirmed that Legal & General will not be investing in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.” L&G declined to comment further. It comes after Aviva Investors expressed concerns about the potential ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks of nuclear power. It said the ESG impact of nuclear was “far from clear at this time.” L&G’s boss Nigel Wilson reportedly described Hinkley in 2016 as a “£25bn waste of money”.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Relief that Bradwell nuclear project has stalled

Essex Gazette 17th Feb 2021, A CAMPAIGN group has called the pausing of talks regarding a new nuclear power station a “silver lining” and hopes the proposal will be scrapped
The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group reacted after it was
announced engagement and active project work on Bradwell B will be paused
for at least a year and says it indicates a “significant reversal” for
the project.
Talks between Maldon District Council and Bradwell B Power
Generation Company – a collaboration between China General Nuclear (CGN)
and EDF – have stalled. The Bradwell group said, in order to tightly
control expenditure, it needs to pause aspects of the project it is not yet
ready to progress. But BANNG chairman Prof Andy Blowers said: “Despite
urging the developer to suspend public engagement during the pandemic,
BANNG was told the national need was urgent and it was in the public
interest that the proposed development is not indefinitely or even
substantially delayed.

February 20, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, UK | Leave a comment

RESIDENTS fear nuclear waste is buried beneath land being earmarked for development.

February 20, 2021 Posted by | environment, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Over 100,000 people sign petition to stop Sizewell nuclear, save nature reserve

East Anglian Daily Times 16th Feb 2021, More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station to be rejected because of its fearednimpact on an internationally-important nature reserve.

The RSPB Love Minsmere campaign launched a national advertising campaign last week
targeting EDF Energy offices with more experts and wildlife campaigners backing its fight against the £20billion project.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Is this the end of the road for UK’s Bradwell nuclear project?

February 18, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Lancaster City Council will call on UK to join nuclear weapons ban

Lancaster City Council will call on government to join nuclear weapons ban
City councillors have voted in favour of writing to the government to urge it to sign up to the United Nation’s Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into force last month.
Lancaster Guardian,   By Nick Lakin, Monday, 15th February 2021, The motion was brought to council by Green Councillor Mandy Bannon, who represents Marsh ward.

South Lakeland and Lancaster District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), has praised the council for its decision.

The motion brought to council was in response to a global campaign organised by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017………

Lancaster will join 16 other UK councils who already support the ICAN campaign including Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Oxford, Norwich, and several authorities in London and Scotland…….

February 15, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment