Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.K. Trident Review Delivered to Leadership
A senior British Treasury official said he had provided the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 elected leaders with a long-awaited assessment on options for sustaining the nation's nuclear deterrent beyond an estimated $30 billion plan to build four replacement ballistic missile submarines, the BBC reported on Sunday.
The two-year review by the British coalition government's junior member, the Liberal Democrats, is due for public release in several weeks. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg received it two weeks ago, said Chief Secretary of the Treasury Danny Alexander.
The governing Conservative Party has agreed to withhold final approval of the "like-for-like" submarine replacement proposal until after the next general election in 2015, but members contend that dropping the plan would be "foolish."
Alexander, a Liberal Democrat, said "people will see there are choices available to this country" when the document becomes public next month.
The analysis makes no firm recommendations, but explains "alternatives where we can, as President Obama said in Berlin" last month, "move on from the Cold War postures of the past and try and set out a new future for this country with a deterrent which is credible but where this country can play a role in supporting disarmament in the future," Alexander said.
In separate news, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has revealed a new estimate for total warheads produced by the United Kingdom since 1953. According to the publication, Britain built roughly 1,250 nuclear weapons through this year -- about 45 of which were for test purposes -- up nearly 50 percent from earlier estimates of a total 850 produced. The nation is believed to have retained roughly 225 as of today.
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This article provides an overview of the United Kingdom’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.