11 February 2007: for immediate release
Recent analysis by CND shows that if the government’s plans for Trident replacement go ahead, the cost of the British nuclear weapons programme over the next half-century will likely exceed £100 billion.
This figure is based on the government’s own estimates in the White Paper, which may be lower than actual costs:
• £26-31 billion running costs for the final 16 years of the current Trident system
• Procurement costs of £15-20 billion for a new system
• A Trident replacement’s running costs taking up 5-6% of the defence budget each year, totalling £49-59 billion over its 30 year lifetime
Additional costs, such as several billion for key facilities at the Aldermaston and Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment are not included in this estimate. Ministers have thus far refused to disclose the costs of their plan to rebuild many of AWE’s key facilities.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said:
‘This is an astonishing sum of money to spend on weapons of mass destruction. These are Cold War weapons which cannot protect us from the threats that Britain faces today, whether terrorism or climate change. The government would serve the British people better by abandoning its old dogmas and spending the money on combating 21st century threats. The majority of people in this country are opposed to a Trident replacement – it is time for the government to listen.’
CND, the Stop the War Coalition, and the British Muslim Initiative are organising a national demonstration in London on Saturday 24th February, calling for ‘No Trident’ and ‘Troops Home from Iraq.’ It is expected to be Britain’s largest anti-nuclear demonstration in decades.
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. According to a July 2006 ICM poll, 59% of the British public opposes a replacement of Trident when presented with a cost of at least £25 billion.
3. An ICM poll from June 2006 showed that 81% of the British public believes that any decision on Trident replacement should be made by Parliament, not the Prime Minister alone.
4. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.