Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Scientists Call for Axe to Fall on Nuclear Weapons Research

 Nice to have some good news, for a change!:
 
Scientists Call for Axe to Fall on Nuclear Weapons Research

Press Release: Wednesday 13 October 2010.

36 science professors have today written to the Prime Minister calling on
him to protect core scientific research by cutting investment in
developing new nuclear weapons.

The scientists, who include ex-Royal Society head, Sir Michael Atiyah and
Nobel Prize winner, Sir Harold Kroto, highlight how £2bn a year, over 25%
of the government's total scientific research and development budget, is
currently spent by the Ministry of Defence (1).

Their objections focus on government funding of a multi-billion pound
research programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston,
aimed at developing new nuclear warheads. This year this science programme
received an additional £1bn of government funding, and this level of
'additional investment' is set to continue until 2013 (2).

These funds have enabled Aldermaston to buy 3 new supercomputers in the
last year, the latest reportedly the most powerful in the UK, at
undisclosed cost to the taxpayer (3). They are also set to fund a
controversial new hydrodynamics facility that will conduct experiments on
materials used to build nuclear warheads – again at undisclosed cost (4).

These developments are going ahead despite serious questions existing
about the future of the UK's nuclear weapons programme and a recent pledge
by Obama that the US will not develop new nuclear warheads (5).

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global
Responsibility who co-ordinated the letter said, "It's completely
irrational to cut scientific research into medical and environmental
problems whilst pouring billions of pounds of research money into
facilities for designing new nuclear warheads."

He continued, "The Cold War is over. The major security threats we will
face in the coming years have their roots in problems like climate change
and resource shortages. These are the areas where more of our research
should be focussed, and yet the UK currently devotes 20 times more
research funding to military projects than to renewable energy. If cuts
have to come, it's clear to us that Aldermaston is where the axe should
fall."

ENDS


EDITOR'S NOTES:

For a copy of letter and full signatory list, visit http://www.sgr.org.uk/


To organise interviews contact Stuart Parkinson at SGR on 07941 953640

REFERENCES:

1) UK Defence Statistics 2010. Table 1.8.
http://www.dasa.mod.uk/modintranet/UKDS/UKDS2010/c1/table108.php

2) In 2009 Quentin Davies announced that investment at Aldermaston would
increase to £1bn a year up to the end of March 2013  http://bit.ly/d7Tl0C
(Column 136WS)

3) In May 2010 AWE bought two new supercomputers known as 'Willow'
http://bit.ly/crgT7w . Then in August 2010 AWE bought 'Blackthorn'
reputedly the UK's largest supercomputer –
http://tridentreplacement.net/node/1972

4) AWE has also just received planning permission to build a controversial
hydrodynamics facility known as Hydrus – again at undisclosed cost.
http://www.nuclearinfo.org/view/nuclear+sites/AWE+Aldermaston/a2096

5) New Nuclear Posture Review Briefing by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.
http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?id=1355











 

--
Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich.
http://rupertread.net
[If you have an urgent email for me while I am away from a regular computer, you may wish to try contacting me instead on rupertread+mob AT gmail.com]
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead

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29.
 Nice to have some good news, for a change!:
 
Scientists Call for Axe to Fall on Nuclear Weapons Research

Press Release: Wednesday 13 October 2010.

36 science professors have today written to the Prime Minister calling on
him to protect core scientific research by cutting investment in
developing new nuclear weapons.

The scientists, who include ex-Royal Society head, Sir Michael Atiyah and
Nobel Prize winner, Sir Harold Kroto, highlight how £2bn a year, over 25%
of the government's total scientific research and development budget, is
currently spent by the Ministry of Defence (1).

Their objections focus on government funding of a multi-billion pound
research programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston,
aimed at developing new nuclear warheads. This year this science programme
received an additional £1bn of government funding, and this level of
'additional investment' is set to continue until 2013 (2).

These funds have enabled Aldermaston to buy 3 new supercomputers in the
last year, the latest reportedly the most powerful in the UK, at
undisclosed cost to the taxpayer (3). They are also set to fund a
controversial new hydrodynamics facility that will conduct experiments on
materials used to build nuclear warheads – again at undisclosed cost (4).

These developments are going ahead despite serious questions existing
about the future of the UK's nuclear weapons programme and a recent pledge
by Obama that the US will not develop new nuclear warheads (5).

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global
Responsibility who co-ordinated the letter said, "It's completely
irrational to cut scientific research into medical and environmental
problems whilst pouring billions of pounds of research money into
facilities for designing new nuclear warheads."

He continued, "The Cold War is over. The major security threats we will
face in the coming years have their roots in problems like climate change
and resource shortages. These are the areas where more of our research
should be focussed, and yet the UK currently devotes 20 times more
research funding to military projects than to renewable energy. If cuts
have to come, it's clear to us that Aldermaston is where the axe should
fall."

ENDS


EDITOR'S NOTES:

For a copy of letter and full signatory list, visit http://www.sgr.org.uk/


To organise interviews contact Stuart Parkinson at SGR on 07941 953640

REFERENCES:

1) UK Defence Statistics 2010. Table 1.8.
http://www.dasa.mod.uk/modintranet/UKDS/UKDS2010/c1/table108.php

2) In 2009 Quentin Davies announced that investment at Aldermaston would
increase to £1bn a year up to the end of March 2013  http://bit.ly/d7Tl0C
(Column 136WS)

3) In May 2010 AWE bought two new supercomputers known as 'Willow'
http://bit.ly/crgT7w . Then in August 2010 AWE bought 'Blackthorn'
reputedly the UK's largest supercomputer –
http://tridentreplacement.net/node/1972

4) AWE has also just received planning permission to build a controversial
hydrodynamics facility known as Hydrus – again at undisclosed cost.
http://www.nuclearinfo.org/view/nuclear+sites/AWE+Aldermaston/a2096

5) New Nuclear Posture Review Briefing by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.
http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?id=1355











 

--
Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich.
http://rupertread.net
[If you have an urgent email for me while I am away from a regular computer, you may wish to try contacting me instead on rupertread+mob AT gmail.com]
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead
30. 31. 32.