Sat. August 4, 2012
Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945 – 2012 Anniversary commemorated across Wales
People across Wales will be joining with those all over the world in remembering the anniversary of the 1945 devastation of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki, when US atomic bombs were dropped on civilian populations in Japan. Over 250,000 people were killed instantly by heat, blast, fire and radiation. Hundreds of thousands were made sick and died over the following weeks, months and years from radiation.
Contrary to what was claimed at the time, those nuclear bombs did not end the war.(1)
At events throughout Wales, including on the Maes at this year’s National Eisteddfod, the often forgotten horrors of August 1945 will be commemorated. The clear message to the Welsh Government and to all Governments across the world will be that nuclear weapons are not wanted or needed; not in Scotland, not in Wales, not anywhere.
In June, CND Cymru roundly condemned the claim made by First Minister Carwyn Jones that Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines, Trident (2) or their replacement, would be ‘more than welcome’ in Wales if they were to be expelled by an independent Scotland. The First Minister’s statement, which included the suggestion that Milford Haven could be used as a base for the nuclear fleet, was instantly slammed by many MPs and AMs across the political spectrum.
At a rally to be held on Hiroshima Day at Y Babell Heddwch, The National Eisteddfod, CND Cymru Chair Stephen Thomas, Paul Flynn MP and Dylan Morgan of PAWB (Pobl Atal Wylfa B) will restate the call of the majority of people in this country for a ‘Nuclear Free Wales’ and a ‘Nuclear Free World’. The rally will conclude with a march from the Heddwch/CND Cymru tent to the Welsh Government’s unit (details below).
CND Cymru Chair Stephen Thomas said today:
‘The stark lessons of what happened at Hiroshima in 1945 have been ignored by our First Minister, Carwyn Jones. The casual way in which he seemed to welcome nuclear arms being based in Wales does no justice to the enormity of the issue that is raised by his recent statement.’
Dylan Morgan commented:
‘We believe there should not be investment in a new generation of Trident missiles, and that there is no welcome for weapons of mass destruction on the land of Wales or in its surrounding waters. We also believe that opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power go hand in hand. The example set by countries such as Germany, Italy and Switzerland who have turned their backs on nuclear power should be followed.’
CND Cymru calls upon the British Government to make a commitment that British Government will neither use, threaten to use, nor develop any new nuclear weapons, and will take immediate steps for their abolition. This includes, as a first step the scrapping of plans to replace the ageing Trident (2) nuclear weapons system. Nuclear weapons in no way inspire reconciliation and understanding, address the causes of conflict or offer security from climate change, drought, poverty or injustice across the world.
While the most vulnerable in our society cope with the effects of stringent cuts in public services, ordinary working people face higher bills and taxation. The British Government should be making the most moral, the easiest and most far reaching cut of all – a cut in British nuclear weapons. It is simply common sense that Trident and its planned replacement have no place in England, Wales or Scotland and no role in building the sustainable economy we need.
- Monday August 6th Hiroshima Day 11.00am Pabell Cytun (National Eisteddfod field), a service will be held to commemorate the deliberate dropping of US nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6th and August 9th 1945.
- Monday August 6th Hiroshima Day 11.30am Y Babell Heddwch (Maes – National Eisteddfod) – Rally with speakers CND Cymru Chair Stephen Thomas, Paul Flynn MP and Dylan Morgan of PAWB (Pobl Atal Wylfa B) who will restate the call of the majority of people in this country for a ‘Nuclear Free Wales’ and a ‘Nuclear Free World’.
The rally will conclude with a march from the Pabell Heddwch to the National Assembly Tent.
- Tuesday August 7th 11.00am Maes Gwyrdd (National Eisteddfod) ‘Plan A not Wylfa B – an unnecessary spectre’ – Lecture by Dr.Carl Clowes on behalf of PAWB which will give a comprehensive analysis why there should not be investment in dirty, dangerous and expensive new nuclear reactors, and government at all levels in Wales should support an alternative economic programme based on renewable sources of energy production.
Other local events include:
- Sunday 4 August 11am – 3 pm
OSWESTRY Wilfred Owen Peace Garden behind Sainsbury’s
Peace Picnic to mark Hiroshima Day
t: 01939 260444 (plenty of folk from across the border take part in Oswestry events)
- Monday 6 August Hiroshima Day at dusk
Candle Floating Ceremony
67 candles will be floated on the river to represent 67 years since the deliberate dropping by the US of a nuclear bomb on civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945.
Pembrokeshire Peace Group t: 01834 845 868 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday 6 August Hiroshima Day 6.30pm
NEWPORT The Lakes, Tredegar Park
Newport Peace Group everyone welcome!!
t:01633 211 951
Commemorative Tree Planting
t: Vi Shenton 01597 829 303
- A petition ‘Oppose Trident Moving to Wales’ addressed to the National Assembly has been launched: https://www.assemblywales.org/epetition-list-of-signatories.htm?pet_id=764
and will be officially presented at the National Assembly at 12-4pm on October 16th 2012.
- The British Government already spends over £2billion a year (3) on the Trident nuclear weapons system and is planning to spend even more on replacing it with new nuclear weapons.
- Costly plans, already going ahead at AWE Aldermaston to replace Trident with new nuclear weapons will cost the British Taxpayer at least a further £76billion (4).
- Modern nuclear weapons are many times more accurate and powerful than those used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Any use of nuclear weapons would be socially, environmentally and politically catastrophic.
- In March this year, the Welsh Government published its energy policy which although on the whole constructive gave unfortunate backing to building new nuclear reactors at Wylfa.
- Wylfa B isn’t the only nuclear power threat to Wales. Two other sites considered for nuclear new build at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Oldbury just over the border in Gloucestershire are dangerously close to Wales.
Information & Interviews:
contact CND Cymru at y Babell Heddwch (units 113-114) or CND Cymru National Secretary Jill Gough 01239 85 11 88 (until 6pm Sunday 5th August m: 07704 67 57 87 on Monday 6 August)
CND Cymru Chair Stephen Thomas: 02920 666 645
CND Cymru vice Chair John Cox t: 01495 773 495 e: email@example.com
PAWB Dylan Morgan: t: 01248 750218 (dydd/ daytime) 01248 722184 (cartref/home) 07917 461408 (symudol)
PAWB Dr.Carl Clowes t: 01248 450 305
(1) Contrary to what was claimed at the time and the story that is still taught, the bombs did not end the war.
”It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell. “
(Winston Churchill British Prime Minister)
“Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of face. It was not necessary to hit them with that awful thing”
(US President Dwight Eisenhower)
(2) The total yield of the 200 nuclear warheads now deployed on the 4 British Trident submarines is around 14.4 megatons, which is roughly equivalent to 1,000 times the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
(3) Running costs of existing Trident 2007-2023: £26-31 billion Keith Hartley, ‘The Economics of UK Nuclear Weapons Policy’, International Affairs, Vol. 82, No.4, pp.675-684, for military equipment a 10% rise in real terms each year is suggested, p. 684)
(4) www.cnduk.org/images/stories/briefings/trident/cost_british_nweapons_07.pdf Aldermaston: www.aldermaston.net/awe
(5) A concise discussion of some of the cost increases which have emerged since the 2006 White Paper: http://www.cnduk.org/images/stories/briefings/trident/parlcndtridentsdsr_june2010.pdf