17 February 2004: for immediate use

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the Ministry of Defence’s decision to withdraw its plans for a new laser plant at Aldermaston, amid mass opposition from peace groups.

The laser could have been used in the simulated testing of nuclear weapons and could have helped in the development of new nuclear weapons.

The MOD has given no indication of when or if they may re-apply.

This new development demonstrates the importance of action by concerned citizens, campaigning to prevent the potential development of new nuclear weapons at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire. Huge numbers of letters were sent, protesting against the laser project, and CND pays tribute to all those groups and individuals who have made this victory possible.

CND urges continued protest and actions to highlight the very real dangers of new nuclear weapons development, and will be highlighting its opposition with an Easter Weekend march from London to Aldermaston, and will be joined by celebrities, Aldermaston veterans from the original 1958 march, MPs and peace activists. The march is being organised by CND, Aldermaston Women’s Peace camp, and local peace groups that have done so much to prevent the construction of the laser plant.

Kate Hudson, CND Chair said:

“I urge everyone concerned about a safe and peaceful future to step up the campaign and end these unthinkable plans altogether. The plans for the development of new nuclear weapons are shameful, and I urge the Government to remember that it is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that under that Treaty it has signed up ‘to accomplish the total elimination’ of Britain’s nuclear arsenal. Compliance with that is essential and proliferation within Britain is absolutely unacceptable to the British people. This is a small step towards sanity and I sincerely hope that the abandoning of the laser plant is the first step towards total abolition.”



Notes to Editor

1) Comment and interview from CND available. Contact the Press Office on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859

2) CND is one of three organisations leading the recent anti-war movement, alongside the Stop the War Coalition and Muslim Association of Britain. It is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK.