Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2020
British nuclear war readiness has faced decades of protest. Some groups focus on the dangerous convoys that move warheads and related materials along regular roads passing through dozens of villages. The convoys are tracked by campaigners, photographed and filmed for social media, and regularly stopped by protesters. The UK routinely moves nuclear warheads to and from their final assembly point in Burghfield, England, and the Royal Naval Armaments Depot in Coulport, Scotland—eight miles from the Faslane Trident submarine base. At Coulport, the warheads are loaded onto US missiles—leased to the British Navy by the US—that arm its four Trident submarines.
A warhead convoy passed through the countryside May 13, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Nukewatch UK and Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND). The massive highway transports include up to 20 police vehicles, and at least 50 personnel, raising fears of Covid-19 spreading to and from the Scottish bases. Jane Tallents of Nukewatch UK, said May 13, “It is never right to possess and deploy nuclear weapons and to transport them on public roads. Doing it right now is completely irresponsible.” SCND chair Lynn Jamieson said, “The transport of nuclear bombs across the English-Scottish border is always an unnecessary journey against the will of the majority of people living in Scotland … risking a catastrophic accident.”