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Why A Labour Government Should Scrap Trident

08/03/2013
by

Brighton & Hove LRC meeting

7.30pm, Thursday 14 March, Lord Nelson pub, Trafalgar Street

Speaker: Joy Hurcombe, vice-Chair, Labour CND

All welcome

CND Olympics_27.07.12Trident is Britain’s nuclear weapons system. It is made up of three parts: the warheads – which are the explosive ‘bombs’, the missiles which carry them, and the submarines which carry the missiles.

One submarine is on patrol at all times carrying an estimated eight missiles, each of which can carry up to five warheads – 40 in total. Each warhead has an explosive power of up to 100 kilotons of conventional high explosive.  This is 8 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, which killed about 240,000 people from blast and radiation.

Can nuclear weapons now be used legally under international treaties signed by the UK? Not if it is impossible to avoid civilian deaths – either in the immediate blast or the subsequent fall out and long-lasting radioactivity.

Are nuclear weapons still relevant to the serious threats identified by successive UK governments – terrorism, cyber warfare and climate change?

As the Coalition commits billions preparing to replace the UK’s Trident submarines when they reach the end of their service life in 2028, we ask is this really an effective use of taxpayers’ money?

The new submarines will be designed to be in service for a further 30 years. The final decision on whether to proceed with the replacement is due to be taken in 2016. Around £900m has already been spent on designing new submarines.  A further £3bn has been allocated for design costs from 2011 to 2016.  The latest official estimate is that the submarines will cost £25 billion to design and construct – already double previous estimates.

Is this best value for £25 billion or should the UK scrap Trident as an increasing number of Labour MPs are arguing?

Come along to discuss all this and more.

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