Nuclear bombs are the most deadly weapons of mass destruction that exist. Yet some in the workers’ movement insist on defending the maintenance and expansion of Trident nuclear missiles and submarines on the grounds that it is good for jobs.
Nuclear technicians, arms manufacturing workers and shipbuilders are highly skilled. So are the workers at the dangerous and expensive nuclear power plants that make these doomsday weapons possible.
Those skills and livelihoods shouldn’t be thrown away. But they could be put to better use doing almost anything else.
We desperately need more people employed to build housing, public transport and sustainable energy resources. Even safely decommissioning Britain’s existing nukes would create more jobs than keeping them.
Nuclear weapons make the world a more dangerous place. And nuclear power is not clean, safe or efficient. The mining of uranium, its transport and processing of nuclear fuel and the building of reactors all emit greenhouse gases. Nuclear power can lead to disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Nuclear weapons and nuclear power together cost billions. The disposal of nuclear waste is estimated to be some £50 billion.
Spending this money elsewhere would be safer and cleaner—and it would create more jobs too.