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WMD: 1/25 of 27
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WIPP / Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates its 1000th transuranic waste shipment. Photo: energy.gov / Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico nuclear waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors' that exposes deeper problems

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

27th November 2014

Last February's explosion at the WIPP dump for long-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste from the US's nuclear weapons program remains unexplained, writes Jim Green. But with the site's history of ignored warnings, 'missing' safety culture, lack of supervision and dubious contractor appointments, it surely came as no surprise - and further accidents appear inevitable. more...
Ambulances under tear gas attack at Bil'in, Palestine. In future, could it be something worse? Photo: Yossi Gurvitz via Flickr.

'Incapacitating' chemical weapons threaten a new arms race

Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando

9th November 2014

December's meeting of the Chemical Weapons Convention offers the opportunity to control very dangerous and often fatal chemical agents deemed 'incapacitating', write Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando. Currently a legal gray area, it's essential to bring the development and use of these substances before a full blown arms race breaks out. more...
Sole of shoe at 'Highway of Death' in Iraq, where DU munitions were used to destroy tanks and other vehicles of Saddam Hussein's retreating army in Gulf War I. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr.

UN Resolution warns nuclear WMD states: end is nigh for DU munitions

John LaForge

10th November 2014

Only four countries opposed a UN Resolution on 'depleted uranium' munitions: the USA, UK, France and Israel, all nuclear WMD states whose use of DU leaves battle fields contaminated with toxic, radioactive residues for millennia into the future. The overwhelming support for the Resolution puts the WMD states on notice - DU munitions are no longer acceptable. more...
Polaris Nuclear Sub from Honor House advertisement published in the November 1967 issue of Workbasket magazine. Photo: clotho98 via Flickr.

The world's first 'Nuclear Proliferation Treaty'

David Lowry

13th November 2014

Last week Parliament had its first ever chance to debate a shadowy treaty dating back to 1958, under which the UK exported to the USA enough plutonium for over 1,000 nuclear warheads, writes David Lowry. But the core question remains unanswered - how can the treaty be reconciled with our sovereign obligations to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation? more...
A welcoming committee at Christmas Island - site of the UK's Grapple X and Grapple Y bomb tests. But do these children, or their parents, know about the long term legacy of uranium pollution? Photo: Philip via Flickr.

The 'forgotten' uranium isotope - secrets of the nuclear bomb tests revealed

Chris Busby

4th November 2014

Papers reluctantly released by the UK Government in the bomb test veterans' legal case for compensation reveal what it has long denied, writes Chris Busby - that bomb fallout is rich in uranium, and that most of its radioactivity is concentrated in the 'forgotten' but highly active isotope U-234, explaining much of the substantial, long term damage to veterans' health. more...
Sellafield - the B30 pond, possibly 2006.

The Ecologist places leaked Sellafield fuel pond photos in public domain

The Ecologist

31st October 2014

The full set of photos of Sellafield's highly dilapidated and dangerous B29 and B30 cooling ponds as leaked to us are placed in the public domain. more...
The B30 pond showing a full loading with fuel rods. Photo: unknown.

Leaked Sellafield photos reveal 'massive radioactive release' threat

Oliver Tickell

27th October 2014

Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area. more...
Picture found in Honkawa Elementary School in 2013 of the Hiroshima atom bomb cloud, believed to have been taken about 30 seconds after detonation of about 10km (6 miles) east of the hypocentre. Photo: Honkawa Elementary School / Wikimedia Commons.

The ICRP's radiation risk model is bogus science

Chris Busby

22nd October 2014

The world has been the victim of a monstrous scientific error that has understated the dangers of radiation, writes Chris Busby. Following the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, investigators used 'controls' who had been exposed to high levels of 'black rain' fallout to understate the health impacts of radiation. This bogus science still underlies risk models today. more...
The UK's first bomb test: Operation Hurricane. The plutonium implosion device was exploded at sea at the Montebello Islands, West Australia, on 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Bomb test veterans' grandchildren suffer health impacts

Chris Busby

16th October 2014

A scientific paper published this week shows that the severe health damage caused to UK bomb test veterans persists through the generations, writes Chris Busby. Their children and grandchildren are almost ten times more likely to suffer from congenital malformations than controls - and the only common cause is historic radiation exposure.
more...
All tooled up and nowhere to go? HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

A Yes vote in Scotland could finish Trident

Paul Ingram

17th September 2014

If the Scots vote yes on Thursday the UK's already tight military budget will be squeezed even harder, writes Paul Ingram, dramatically increasing the chances of nuclear disarmament. Adding to the UK's headache: the only medium term alternative base for its Trident submarine fleet would be ... in Georgia, USA. more...
The Vale of Mordor - or is the Sellafield 'atom factory' in Cumbria, UK? Photo: tim_d via Flickr.

Bombs Ahoy! Why the UK is desperate for nuclear power

Oliver Tickell

26th August 2014

On the face of it, the UK government's obsession with nuclear power defies reason. It's very expensive, inflexible, creates 'existential' threats and imposes enormous 'long tail' liabilities tens of thousands of years into the future. But there is a simple explanation: it's all to maintain the UK's status as a nuclear WMD state. more...
Sister Megan Rice prior to her imprisonment. Photo: via facebook.com/SisterMeganRice

Sister Megan Rice is an inspiration to all humanity

Michael Edwards

31st August 2014

Campaigners who dared confront the might of the US's nuclear weapons establishment, in the process revealing the chronic insecurity of its facilities, are paying a heavy price, writes Michael Edwards. But their strength, serenity and joy in the face of brutal injustice brings hope to the world for a just and peaceful future. more...

WMD: 1/25 of 27
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Angie Zelter - changing the world with music at Ofog's mass action at NEAT, 26th July 2011. Photo: Ofog direktaktion för fred via Flickr.

Here We Stand - women changing the world

Virginia Moffatt

28th August 2014

Every now and then I am sent a book to review that is an absolute pleasure to read from cover to cover, writes Virginia Moffatt. This marvellous collection of interviews and essays by world-changing women activists is precisely one such book. more...
Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, July 2014. Photo: Oxfam via Flickr.

Who will silence the Guns of August, 2014?

Guy Horton

6th August 2014

One hundred years ago this August, guns rang out as a Europe made unstable by hatred, nationalism and a complex web of treaties went to war. Now the entire world appears poised for conflagration, writes Guy Horton. But where are the leaders to pull us from the brink? more...
Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia.

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...
Greeting visitors to The Sellafield Story, a Radiation Free Lakeland activist offers leaflets setting out a dramatically different narrative. Photo: RFL.

Beacon of Nuclear Truth?

Marianne Birkby

12th June 2014

The cash-strapped Cumbrian Museum is rebranded to tell 'The Sellafield Story'. The UK's favourite scientist Brian Cox and Government Minister Baroness Verma provide razzmatazz along with the Happy Robot. Lollypops anyone? more...
Other ways humanity could end are more subtle - but nuclear war still presents the greatest threat to human survival. United States Department of Energy, CC BY.

The five biggest threats to human existence

Anders Sandberg

31st May 2014

Humanity has always lived under the threat of extinction, writes Anders Sandberg. Now we have reduced some of the dangers - but created new ones of our own. And right now, it's the anthropogenic threats that look the scariest ... more...
'Operation Arctic Shadow' - tar sands refining at Fort McMurray, Alberta. Photo: kris krüg / DeSmogBlog via Flickr.

Climate change as a weapon of mass destruction

Tom Engelhardt

1st June 2014

When we speak of WMD, we usually think of weapons - nuclear, biological, or chemical - that are delivered in a moment, writes Tom Engelhardt. But what of climate change: a WMD on a long fuse, already lit and smoking ... more...
Vladimir Putin and Price Charles share a joke. Photo: via @OliverJamesUK / Twitter.

Putin 'like Hitler'? How did Prince Charles get it so wrong?

Israel Shamir

21st May 2014

Far from being 'like Hitler' as Prince Charles accuses, Putin is sober, cautious, defensive, a stickler for international law, determined to modernise Russia, and anxious to avoid military confrontation. Israel Shamir sees through the NATO propaganda ... more...
A disarmed Titan missile at the Titan Missile Museum, Green Valley, Arizona. Photo: Devin via Flickr.

Nuclear disarmament - the UK can lead the world

Paul Ingram

23rd May 2014

The belief that unilateral reductions in the UK's nuclear weapons arsenal would bring no international benefits is deeply engrained in officialdom, writes Paul Ingram. Deeply engrained - and profoundly mistaken. more...
Sea Lion entangled in fishing gear. Photo: Kanna Jones / Marine Photo Bank via Lauren Packard / Flickr.com.

The decline and fall of America's last great fishery

Jeffrey St. Clair

13th May 2014

The Bering Sea is America's biggest fishery - but factory trawlers are ripping the guts out of the ecosystem, writes Jeffrey St.Clair, as they have already devastated fishing communities. Mix in nuclear bomb test fallout - an unlikely savior? more...
Power lines over Didcot's Ladygrove Estate -  by Jonathan Rawle via Flickr.com.. The electromagnetic fields from the lines are harmless - excess leukemia results only when there are high levels of  radioactive fallout for the fields to concentrate.

Power lines, fallout and childhood leukemia

Chris Busby

9th May 2014

The risk of leukemia for children living near power lines closely tracks levels of radiation from nuclear bomb test fallout, writes Chris Busby. The obvious explanation the 'experts' have chosen to ignore: the electro-magnetic fields increase radiation exposure. more...
A US government photograph of Operation Redwing's Apache nuclear explosion in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands on July 9, 1956.

Nuclear WMD states sued - by the Marshall Islands

Robert Dodge

4th May 2014

The US threatens to attack Iran if it tries to build a nuclear bomb, yet the US and other nuclear WMD states have ignored their treaty obligation to work toward nuclear disarmament, writes Rober Dodge. Now the Marshall Islands has gone to court to enforce compliance. more...
The mushroom cloud above Nagasaki, 9th August 1945. The 'Fat Man' bomb contained just 6.2kg of plutonium 239 and delivered a 21 kt blast. Photo: Charles Levy / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear power undermines nuclear security

Dr David Lowry

2nd May 2014

Opponents of nuclear power rightly focus on issues of cost, operational danger and waste disposal, writes David Lowry. But they should not forget the towering 'elephant in the room' - nuclear security and the risk of proliferation and terrorist attacks. more...
A radar station near Israel's military reactor at Dimona, in the south of the country. Photo: Benjamin Torelle via Flickr.com.

Non-aligned nations: Israel must renounce nuclear weapons

Israel Hayom

2nd May 2014

The Non-Aligned Movement has reiterated the demand for Israel, the only country in the Middle East that has not joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to 'renounce possession of nuclear weapons' and join the Treaty without delay. more...

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