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On the fence

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At 1pm, we covered the perimeter fence in front of the Orion laser facility with notices and warnings

crickson says:

Sorry, I don't really get it - what's wrong with the big laser?

27th Nov 2006, 14:35

babarji says:

The Orion laser which replicates the conditions of a nuclear explosion will be used to develop a new nuclear weapon - very possibly a new generation of smaller, so-called 'battlefield' nuclear weapons that are more likely to be used.

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27th Nov 2006, 15:12

crickson says:

But isn't it better that the weapons can be tested using this laser rather than actually exploding them?

27th Nov 2006, 15:23

babarji says:

well I guess it is better to test theortically than to actually explode to test - except that this device will be used to develop a new breed of nuclear devices - smaller big bombs rather than huge big bombs. But the longterm and indiscriminate effects will still be there as indeed would be the whole principle of proliferation by the factof our ownership of nuclear weapons. Would we give this technology to other nuclear states on the basis that it would be better if they had the abailty to have smaller nuclear bombs than they do now? I don't think so

27th Nov 2006, 15:56

crickson says:

Is there a long term effect of the use of nuclear weapons? Have Hiroshima and Nagasaki remained contaminated? Has there been a legacy of birth defects? It's not a subject I know a lot about, but I'm generally pro-nuclear, both power and bombs (if other people are going to have them).

27th Nov 2006, 18:18

Dave(walshy-at-blather-dot-net) says:

Crickson - of course there's a long term effect of nukes - they kill people!

28th Nov 2006, 12:27

crickson says:

All weapons are designed to kill people - I'd rather small nukes were developed and used than stick with the risk of large ones. It's an imperfect world, I hope Britain stays armed.

However, why do our nukes need replacing? Do they spoil like milk or something?

28th Nov 2006, 15:40

swimtwobirds says:

The Orion laser is part of a massive suite of new technology including supercomputers, hydrodynamic testing and new labs at Aldermaston costing over £1billion, plus over 700 new scientific staff will be recruited. This is not necessary to maintain the safety of the existing stockpile - it reeks of development of a new nuclear weapon, pre-empts any political decision and would be in breach of the NPT, as confirmed by the recent legal opinion by Philippe Sands QC.

But developing a new warhead with computer modelling & lab experiments will almost certainly ultimately lead to the need to test the warhead in real, not virtual, conditions. This would break the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), provoke proliferation and could lead to a nuclear free-for-all.

The UK has obligations under international law and treaties. How can it preach against nuclear developments in other states when it is clearly undermining the international treaty regime it pays lip service to?

29th Nov 2006, 12:49

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