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November 2014

Dr Christopher Watson: UK plans for a new nuclear build A British Pugwash view

Presentation to the European Physical Society Energy Group meeting in Lisbon on 13 November 2014

October 2014

British Pugwash Newsletter 2014


June 2014

British Pugwash Annual Report 2013


April/May 2014

In a response to Malcolm Chalmers’ article in the December 2013 edition of the RUSI Journal, Hugh Beach argues that it is time to move on from 1980s rhetoric of ‘unilateral’ versus ‘multilateral’ disarmament and to act in the UK's true national interest.
The RUSI Journal Volume 159, Issue 2, 2014

November 2013

General Sir Hugh Beach: 'How would Britain fare as a non-nuclear weapon state?'

Paper given at the 60th International Pugwash Conference, Istanbul 1-5 November 2013

For further information on the conference go to


November 2013

British Pugwash Quinquennial Report 2007-2013

The Quinquennial Report report was produced to coincide with the International Pugwash Quinquennial meeting held in Istanbul 1-5 November 2013

September 2013

British Pugwash Newsletter

Our Newsletter provides up to date information on British Pugwash activities between annual reports.

May 2013

Workshop: The ethics of military robotics: developing international agreement on ethical principles relating to the military exploitation of modern information and communications technology (ICT)

British Pugwash organised a two-day expert scoping workshop to examine the ethical implications of current and possible future developments in modern military robotics on 20-22 March 2013 at the University of Birmingham. This initiative followed a suggestion by John Finney at the 2012 meeting of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Information and Technology (COMEST), on which International Pugwash has an ex officio seat.

Read the report

May 2013

The link between non-proliferation and disarmament in the NPT: is there consensus

behind the conflict?

Final report of a British Pugwash Group project

by Matthew Harries, Associate, Centre for Science and Security Studies, King's College London


A British Pugwash team, led by Carol Naughton, conducted a project based on 29 one-to-one interviews with representatives of 24 key NPT states parties, as well as a diplomatic roundtable, to identify possible grounds for a new consensus on the link between non-proliferation and disarmament in the context of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with consideration for the potential role of the United Kingdom.

Read the report that summarises the project's findings

May 2013

British Pugwash Annual Report 2012

Read or download the report


February 2013

Pathways to 2050:Three possible UK energy strategies

During the next 40 years, the UK will have to rebuild its energy supply infrastructure almost completely, at a cost of about £3 trillion. Our present pattern of energy supply and demand is totally inappropriate in a world threatened by climate change. We need to reshape it completely before it is too late.

Public opinion is deeply divided on the choice of technologies to be used to bring about the required restructuring, and also about the scale of achievable energy savings which might influence this choice. The only unambiguous guidance from government has been an international commitment that the UK will reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by 80% by the year 2050.

British Pugwash has published an expert report designed to address these issues. Pathways to 2050:Three possible UK energy strategies discusses three possible UK energy strategies which have been constructed using the ‘Pathways to 2050 Calculator' which has been made publicly available by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Each strategy (‘High Nuclear', ‘High Renewables' and ‘Intermediate' ) achieves the 80% reduction, and uses energy technologies which either exist or can reasonably be expected to be brought to sufficient commercial maturity in time.

Read or download the report


November 2012

Verification of Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement: Peer Review of the UK MoD Programme  

Mr Brian Anderson, Gen. Sir Hugh Beach , Prof. John Finney, Dr Nick Ritchie,

Prof. Ruben Saakyan, Dr Christopher Watson

British Pugwash has for many years been actively involved in developing thinking within the UK on the steps towards the eventual goal of the universal abolition of nuclear weapons. We recognise that this will be a long process, and that there will need to be many intermediate steps, aimed at reducing the size of nuclear weapon inventories, and creating mutual confidence in taking further steps. Within this process, a politically and psychologically important element is the verification that mutually-agreed disarmament measures have actually taken place in the manner declared. Without international confidence in the verification process, it is all too easy for those who wish to undermine the process to claim that such agreements are ineffective.

We were therefore pleased that UK MoD invited us to undertake an independent peer review of its past decade's work towards developing a credible technical framework for the verification of dismantlement of nuclear weapons. A team from British Pugwash was given significant access to their work in this area, which is carried out within the framework of the UK's Global Threat Reduction Programme.

The report presents our conclusions.

September 2012

British Pugwash Newsletter

Our newsletter provides up to date information on British Pugwash activities between annual reports.

October 2011

The Management of the UK 's Plutonium Stocks

In November 2009 the British Pugwash Group published a report of its working group on The Management of Separated Plutonium in the UK . Since then DECC, the Government department responsible for the management of the plutonium stockpile, has been undertaking investigations of the three options discussed in the BPG report.

In February 2011 it published its preliminary conclusions, and launched a 'consultation' on those conclusions, in the form of seven specific questions about its general approach.

BPG submitted its response on 9 May 2011, but has not hitherto published it, following the normal convention for bodies providing evidence to government. However, DECC has now informed us that it has no objection to our doing so also. We understand that DECC intends to publish the result of this consultation shortly.

Read the British Pugwash response


September 2011

British Pugwash Newsletter

We are pleased to introduce our newsletter, the first of its kind, to provide up to date information on British Pugwash activties between annual reports.

July 2011

Mapping Disarmament in the UK

In response to a high level request for an overview of UK non-governmental work on nuclear disarmament, British Pugwash has produced a directory of the UK-based NGOs and individual experts that have a focus on the non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Read more

'What price nuclear blackmail ?'

General Sir Hugh Beach challenges the doctrine of nuclear deterrence, arguing that nuclear weapons have never acted as a ‘credible' deterrent. Citing several historical cases of conflicts in which nuclear weapons failed to play a strategic role, the paper criticises the UK's commitment to maintaining nuclear weapons, nd calls Trident ‘a White Elephant that is not worth its keep'. Blackaby Paper No 9 , Abolition 2000 UK Available by mail for £3.50

Briefings on Nuclear Security

A series of background briefings , produced in conjunction with the Parliamentary Liaison Group, aims to inform British parliamentarians on the UK 's nuclear weapons policy and its context:

Briefing 1 - State of play; Briefing 2 - Deterrence; Briefing 3 - Initial Gate; Briefing 4 Britain's Key Role



For a full list of British Pugwash publications, click here


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