British nuclear weapons privatized

This video from Britain says about itself:

Unofficial teaser for the film “March to Aldermaston”, made in Easter 1958 by Lindsay Anderson (director of the classic counter-culture movie “If?”) and narrated by the great actor Richard Burton – “we look at the world, and we see madness”!

From British daily The Independent:

Secret nuclear sell-off storm

Aldermaston bomb factory is sold to American company in bid to boost Treasury coffers provoking fury as Parliament is bypassed

By Ben Russell, Home affairs correspondent

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Britain no longer has any stake in the production of its nuclear warheads after the Government secretly sold off its shares in the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston.

Ministers agreed to sell the remaining one-third ownership to a Californian engineering company. The announcement, which means that Americans will now produce and maintain Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, was slipped out on the eve of the parliamentary Christmas holiday. Officials refused to say how much the deal raised.

Opposition MPs last night expressed concern that the stake may have been sold off below market value to raise much-needed money for the Treasury. They accused the Government of trying to conceal the sale of the stake in AWE Management Limited by failing to make an announcement in Parliament.

There was also anger that Britain would no longer directly control the site where Britain’s nuclear warheads are produced and maintained.

A terse one-paragraph statement posted on the website of the state-owned nuclear firm BNFL confirmed that its one-third stake in the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) had been sold to the California-based Jacobs Engineering Group, a global engineering firm which already carries out work for the nuclear weapons and research establishment in Berkshire.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament reacted with outrage to the news that the Government is selling its remaining one-third share in the company that runs the Atomic Weapons Establishment to Jaccobs Engineering, a US company. This will give American corporations a controlling 2/3rds share of the organisation that builds and maintains Britain’s so-called ‘independent’ nuclear weapons system.

7 thoughts on “British nuclear weapons privatized

  1. Posted by: “Richard Frager” richardfrager
    Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:58 am (PST)

    Security adviser a hawk on energy

    Retired general is a strong advocate
    for offshore drilling, nuclear power

    Copyright 2008
    Houston Chronicle
    Washington Bureau

    Dec. 24, 2008, 11:16PM

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of retired Gen. James L. Jones to become his national security adviser won bipartisan applause because of the former NATO supreme commander’s military and diplomatic track records.

    But amid the rave reviews for his military accomplishments, his ability to speak fluent French and his basketball prowess, one line on Jones’ resume was widely overlooked: his expertise on energy issues.

    Unlike most of Obama’s inner circle, the retired general, 64, has been a strong advocate of aggressive energy exploration and development, including offshore drilling and nuclear power.

    For the past year, Jones has been president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. Until his Dec. 1 selection by Obama, he also served as a board member of the Chevron Corp. — just like President George W. Bush’s first national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, now the secretary of state.

    Energy industry experts, business leaders and area members of Congress from both parties predict that Jones’ presence will ensure that the “all-of-the-above” approach favored by Texas lawmakers — pursuing drilling, conservation, nuclear power and alternative energy sources simultaneously — will at least get a hearing in Obama administration deliberations.

    “I like the idea that Gen. Jones is for a balanced approach to energy policy,” said Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston. “He will be there and talk about that. Having that receptive person inside the room bodes well for the country and our region of the country.”

    During his 2003-2006 stint as NATO’s supreme commander, Jones stressed his view that energy policy was a top national security matter for the United States and a leading international security priority.

    As the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s energy institute, he delivered a 36-page policy blueprint to the Obama transition team that recommended aggressive drilling and energy efficiency efforts.

    “We’re very excited and enthusiastic that there will be somebody in the administration and in the White House who has talked about” offshore drilling and energy security, said Dan Naatz, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s vice president of federal resources and political affairs.

    Favors drilling

    Jones favors expanded domestic oil and gas exploration, including offshore drilling, wider use of nuclear power, rapid development of clean-coal technology and an emphasis on renewable energy sources. He has advocated a reduction in “burdensome regulations” that stymie energy production and industry innovation. He also favors U.S. engagement in global climate change talks.

    Jones declined a request for an interview for this article. But his top deputy at the Energy Institute, Karen Alderman Harbert, said he is committed “to enhancing our nation’s energy security.”

    While the oil and gas industry has been very nervous about the shape of a future Obama energy program, Frank Maisano, an energy specialist at Bracewell & Giuliani, said Jones’ presence increases the likelihood that the administration will “come to a policy decision that is well thought out and carefully considered.”

    Open up the Gulf

    Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, said he is pleased that Jones “has voiced his willingness to expand America’s offshore drilling capacity.”

    Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, said Jones “would have a platform to urge the president to resist efforts to reinstate the (offshore drilling) moratorium.”

    Brady is pushing for Jones to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico to natural gas exploration and to modernize America’s aging nuclear energy infrastructure.

    Environmentalists and nuclear power skeptics express concern about Jones’ record but believe that he will not dictate administration policy.

    “We certainly don’t agree with everything in that report, particularly the drill-everywhere approach and building many more nuclear plants,” said Alan Nogee, director of the Clean Energy Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    Still, Nogee applauds Jones’ commitment to conservation and renewable energy.

    “For the first time ever, we’re going to have a national security adviser, a commerce secretary and a secretary of state who strongly support improving the nation’s energy efficiency and developing the nation’s renewable resources,” Nogee said.

    Jones’ influence on Obama policy will depend on his ability to convince the president of the security component of energy independence.

    Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space


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