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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

 

Possible plutonium security escort HMS Nottingham runs aground in rough weather off...

Feature story | 8 July, 2002 at 0:00

Shortly after a flotilla of small boats set out to protest a shipment of weapons-usable plutonium through the Tasman sea, a possible security escort, the HMS Nottingham, ran aground off the east coast of Australia.

Boats set sail from Auckland to join the

Image | 7 July, 2002 at 1:00

Boats set sail from Auckland to join the flotilla that will protest British Nuclear Fuels plutonium shipment transport through the Pacific ocean.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark visits

Image | 7 July, 2002 at 1:00

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark visits the flotilla before they sail to join other boats to protest against the BNFL Plutonium shipment being transported through the Pacific Ocean.

Opponents of nuclear transport set sail for rough weather and high seas vigil

Feature story | 7 July, 2002 at 0:00

What would possess a comfortably retired grandfather, a former rock musician, a chimney sweep and a tour guide to set out in small boats in some of the roughest waters in the world? What can unite the Pacific island nation of Fiji with the...

Greenpeace and local groups in Suva

Image | 5 July, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace and local groups in Suva, Fiji demonstrate, on July 5th 2002, the Pacific people's opposition to plutonium shipments through the Pacific.

Greenpeace and community organisations in

Image | 5 July, 2002 at 1:00

Greenpeace and community organisations in Suva, Fiji demonstrate the Pacific people's opposition to plutonium shipments through the Pacific.

Surrounded by Japanese police and coast guards

Image | 4 July, 2002 at 1:00

Surrounded by Japanese police and coast guards Greenpeace inflatables protest beneath kites from the Mv Arctic Sunrise

Watched by Japanese police

Image | 4 July, 2002 at 1:00

Watched by Japanese police ,the Greenpeace ship 'Arctic Sunrise' and inflatables protest in Uchiura bay, beside the Takahama nuclear plant.

Greenpeace activists board the oil tanker

Image | 4 July, 2002 at 0:00

Greenpeace activists board the oil tanker Crude Dio in the Bosphorus Straight entrance, into the Black Sea, as part of their campaign against climate change

British nuclear freighters depart Japan en route to UK

Feature story | 4 July, 2002 at 0:00

A British freighter carrying enough plutonium to make 50 nuclear bombs is now on route through the Pacific ocean. The ship will pass South Africa then up to the Irish sea before reaching its final destination at a nuclear reprocessing facility in...

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