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George Bush leads the US toward a policy of unilateral, pre-emptive counterproliferation warfighting strategy.

Abolish nuclear weapons

The Cold War may be over, but this does not mean nuclear weapons have disappeared. Far from it: There are over 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with more than a thousand of them ready to launch at a moment's notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over 400 reactors in warships and nuclear submarines are still circlingthe globe. Some are rotting away on the bottom of the ocean or in adistant port somewhere in Russia. Accidents such as the Russiansubmarine, the Kursk, tragically sinking in the Barents Sea can happenevery day, anywhere.

Over 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have left a legacy of global andregional contamination. People living near the test sites have sufferedfrom cancers, stillbirths, miscarriages and other health effects -- and are still suffering today. Manyhad to leave their hometown or island as it became too contaminated tolive there.

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The nuclear threat has quite literally scaled down in the last twodecades. While the prospect of an all out exchange of arsenals betweenRussia and the US has receded, the 15 kilotons of destructionthat obliterated Hiroshima could today be accomplished with a lunch-boxsized bomb. George Bush talks openly of developing new "more useable"nuclear weapons. Even more alarmingly, the administration continues toseek approval for a programme geared toward designing more robust, more'usable' nuclear weapons.

The prospects of a nuclear weapon actuallybeing used are perhaps greater today than during the cold war.

Today, the number of countries involved in active weapons programsis increasing. A growing number of countries are lining up to join thenuclear club, increasing the chance that a nuclear catastrophe willhappen somewhere on the planet. 

George Bush's war on Weapons of Mass Descruction had its firstconcrete result when the number of countries in the world with declarednuclear weapons increased to 8 from 7, when North Korea announced thatit had built "enough nuclear weapons to deter a US attack."

Nuclear brinkmanship is inevitable in a climate of nuclearhypocrisy. Only when all countries pursue nuclear disarmament in goodfaith can we begin putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle bybanning the use and manufacture of the nuclear materials at the heart of the bomb.

The only thing that will stop the threat is the voice of the second superpower: world opinion.

The latest updates


What is Esso afraid of?

Feature story | 23 June, 2002 at 0:00

ExxonMobil is worried about the reputation of its brand, and is attempting to sue Greenpeace to protect it.

Russian nuclear dump plan condemned

Feature story | 21 June, 2002 at 0:00

Russia's nuclear regulator has rejected its nuclear ministry's plans to turn the country into a nuclear dump for the world.

Greenpeace activists in Nordenham paint 'Save

Image | 20 June, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace activists in Nordenham paint 'Save Ancient Forests Now' on logs stored at the port.

NAFTA to study GMO contamination

Feature story | 20 June, 2002 at 0:00

The genetic contamination of maize in Mexico's Oaxaca state is a serious hazard for biodiversity in this region, a world centre of genetic diversity for the crop. Now a commission of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) has agreed to study...

Forest destruction protested in run-up to G8

Feature story | 20 June, 2002 at 0:00

Today one hundred activists in the important German harbour of Nordenham protested the import of timber from ancient forests.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Publication | 19 June, 2002 at 0:00

A guide and analysis to assist countries with implementation of the treaty.

Ship ruled toxic waste

Feature story | 19 June, 2002 at 0:00

Today the highest court in the Netherlands ruled that a ship containing asbestos, heavy metals and other toxic material should be classified as toxic waste.

Courts asked to halt plutonium transport

Feature story | 19 June, 2002 at 0:00

Greenpeace will seek a High Court Injunction in London at 10.30am Thursday to halt British Nuclear Fuels´ (BNFL´s) and Pacific Nuclear Transport´s (PNTL´s) planned shipment of plutonium from Japan to the UK.


Image | 17 June, 2002 at 1:00

Anti-incineration groups and Greenpeace halt construction of new incinerator.

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