The Clyde after Trident: Conference launches a vision of a nuclear free Scotland

Nathanael Williams

Local campaigners and economic experts gather to plan vision of nuclear-free Clyde

CAMPAIGNERS will hold a conference to discuss how to develop the area of the Clyde after the nuclear weapon Trident is removed.

The event will follow revelations last week of a Trident submarine misfiring during a routine test and recently declassified CIA files showing a collision between nuclear subs near Argyll in 1974.

Called “Life after Trident” the event takes place in Helensburgh on Saturday 11 February.

Organised by CND Scotland, the conference will focus on the economic benefits of disarmament and the possibilities for business and social enterprises for the area.

Event: Life After Trident

Ellen Renton, a representative of Helensburgh CND told CommonSpace: “We aim to show that getting rid of Trident could signal a bright new economic future for Argyll and West Dunbartonshire.

“Nuclear weapons do not contribute to the local economy, rather they have a stagnating effect.”

Contributing to the discussion on the day will be writer and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch, the SNP’s spokesperson for the military Brendan O’Hara MP, leading economist Mike Danson and peace campaigner Janet Fenton.

At present, the UK Government holds Faslane naval base as a central hub for all the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet. The Royal Navy also stores an unspecified number of warheads and associated materials at the arms depot in nearby Coulport.

“Nuclear weapons do not contribute to the local economy, rather they have a stagnating effect.” Ellen Renton

Campaigners have regularly noted that if an accident were to occur 90 per cent of the Scottish population would be within the blast and radiation zone amounting to an intolerable level of risk and danger.

According to a UK Government report by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), there have been over 3,800 nuclear “safety events” reported both at 37 civil and military sites across the UK in the last 16 years.

Tory defence minister Michael Fallon came out last week stating that he had “no doubt about the efficiency and capability of the UK’s nuclear arsenal.”

Picture courtesy of Defence Images

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