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WMD: 1/25 of 34
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A toxic trail of chemical pollution and uranium ash from DU munitions: the infamous 'Highway of Death' from Kuwait across the Iraqi desert in Gulf War 1, in 1991. Photo: Bryan Dorrough via Flickr (CC BY).

Iraq seeks help in its fight to overcome the toxic fallout of war and terror

Wim Zwijnenburg / Insight on Conflict

8th April 2015

Iraq is working hard to remediate the environmental impacts of two Gulf wars and Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons programme, writes Wim Zwijnenburg. But it now faces new hazards deliberately caused by Islamic State - and is in desperate need of international support. more...
Soon a thing of the past? HMS Astute  sailing up the Clyde to the Faslane nuclear naval base. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Election 2015 could see off the UK's nuclear missiles

Jonathan Woodrow Martin

7th February 2015

There's a growing chance that the UK's 2015 General Election could bring about the end of its Trident nuclear 'deterrent', writes Jonathan Woodrow Martin, as its renewal looks likely to be central question in the formation of a Labour-SNP coalition government. more...
Children gather around an unexploded shell fired by Kiev forces into a residential area of Eastern Ukraine. Photo: Colonel Cassad (cassad-eng.livejournal.com).

Russian aggression and the BBC's drums of nuclear war

Oliver Tickell

30th January 2015

The drums of war are beating on the BBC and other mass media, writes Oliver Tickell - naked propaganda about fictitious 'Russian aggression' intended to soften us up for a war that could wipe out life on Earth. We must refuse to fall for the endlessly repeated lies, and tell our politicians that our highest priority of all is peace. more...
HMS Victorious on the Clyde. Photo: Photo: Will Haigh for UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Election 2015: finally, our chance to ditch Trident

Paul Ingram

24th January 2015

Campaigners against nuclear weapons on a 'Wrap up Trident' demo at the Ministry of Defence in London today have a new spring in their step, writes Paul Ingram. Thanks to the new electoral geometry of the 2015 general election, they could finally get to close down Britain's £100 billion nuclear weapons programme - and not a moment too soon! more...
The mushroom cloud of the USSR's Tsar Bomba nuclear bomb test. With its 60 Mt yield, this was the largest nuclear explosion ever. Photo: via Andy Zeigert / Flickr.

Austria's campaign to 'stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate' nuclear weapons

Rebecca Johnson

27th December 2014

Austria's pledge to strive for the elimination of nuclear WMD kindled fresh energy and hope at this month's Vienna Conference on Nuclear Weapons, writes Rebecca Johnson. Now we must maintain the momentum towards global nuclear disarmament at the May 2015 meeting of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. more...
A reminder to conservation scientists: not only can one little nuclear bomb ruin your whole day, it can also wipe out a whole lot of biodiversity.

Nuclear power and biodiversity - don't forget WMD proliferation!

Dr Jim Green

18th December 2014

Nuclear energy is essential to preserve the world's biodiversity, according to 69 conservation scientists. But there's a mysterious omission in their analysis, writes Jim Green: nuclear weapons proliferation. And after a major exchange of nuclear bombs, and the 'nuclear winter' that would follow, exactly how much biodiversity would survive? more...
Jeju, Island of Peace: Jeongbang Waterfall. Photo: Jonas Ginter via Flickr.

Jeju, Korea's 'Island of Peace' in the crosshairs of war

Mica Cloughley

19th December 2014

Korea's Jeju Island has been dedicated to peace ever since over 30,000 people were massacred there in 1948, writes Mica Cloughley. But now the US's 'pivot to Asia' demands a new naval base rejected by 94% of voters, and mobile phone giant Samsung is leading the construction project. Islanders are fighting every inch of the way. more...
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...

WMD: 1/25 of 34
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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...
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...

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