UK nuclear weapons: a catastrophe in the making?

Authors: Philip Webber and Stuart Parkinson

Published: August/ September 2015

Pages: 16

Publisher: Scientists for Global Responsibility

This report updates and summarises the latest scientific and technical information about the risks posed by the continued deployment of the UK's nuclear weapons. It highlights the following.

  • The explosive power of the nuclear weapons carried on just one Trident submarine is equivalent to about 320 Hiroshima bombs and is capable of inflicting more than 10 million civilian casualties.
  • The most up-to-date scientific models predict that this firepower would cause devastating climatic disruption threatening global food supplies and leading to mass starvation.
  • UK nuclear weapons are on patrol around the clock, and the possibility of unintended use poses an unacceptable risk. Whilst the chances may be low, the consequences would be catastrophic.

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