Nuclear weapons continue to pose a serious health risk in Europe

July 21, 2005

Nuclear weapons in various European countries, particularly Russia, pose a serious threat to health, argues a letter in this week's BMJ.

Recent estimates are that Russia alone has 7,800 operational nuclear warheads - some of which are on high alert status says Nick Wilson, a public health lecturer and member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Their continued presence means that accidental explosion or missile launch is always a threat. There is also a risk of nuclear weapon materials being stolen or sold on to terrorists, he argues.

Maintaining these weapons eats in to national economies adds the author, leaving less funds for healthcare and other vital services.

The threat posed by these weapons can only be tackled if European countries progress quickly towards a Europe free of nuclear weapons, and relevant countries - particularly Russia, France and the UK - meet their nuclear disarmament obligations. Within Europe, states with US nuclear weapons based on their territories should follow Greece in removing these weapons, says the author.

These weapons are "not able to deal with real security threats now facing the world", concludes the author. Unless removed they will continue to put European countries and others at risk.
-end-


BMJ

Related Nuclear Weapons Articles from Brightsurf:

Difficult to build a family after exposure to chemical weapons
People who have been exposed to chemical warfare agents (CWAs) feel uncertain, decades after the exposure, about their survival and ability to build a family, a University of Gothenburg study shows.

Nuclear medicine and COVID-19: New content from The Journal of Nuclear Medicine
In one of five new COVID-19-related articles and commentaries published in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Johnese Spisso discusses how the UCLA Hospital System has dealt with the pandemic.

Americans perceive likelihood of nuclear weapons risk as 50/50 tossup
It has been 30 years since the end of the Cold War, yet on average, Americans still perceive that the odds of a nuclear weapon detonating on U.S. soil is as likely as a coin toss, according to new research from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Nuclear physics -- probing a nuclear clock transition
Physicists have measured the energy associated with the decay of a metastable state of the thorium-229 nucleus.

Lifelong ill-health after exposure to chemical weapons
People exposed to chemical warfare agents (CWAs) often incur chronic damage to their lungs, skin and eyes, for example.

New genetic weapons challenge sickle cell disease
Researchers advancing gene-editing techniques to help patients with sickle cell disease discover an unexpected boost in fetal hemoglobin production, which mutes the effect of the disease.

Drop your weapons!
It takes energy to make weapons, but it may take even more energy to maintain them.

Preventing chemical weapons as sciences converge
Scientists from Bradford warn of increased chemical weapons risk during a period of very rapid scientific change.

How science can inform chemical weapons arms control
In 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in eliminating many of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles worldwide.

For nuclear weapons reduction, a way to verify without revealing
MIT researchers have found a new way of verifying nuclear weapons reduction agreements without revealing secret information, using a physical cryptographic key and nuclear resonant phenomena.

Read More: Nuclear Weapons News and Nuclear Weapons Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.