CND groups can use these helpful talking points when speaking to the media about the return of US nuclear weapons to Britain:
– We don’t yet know if US nuclear weapons are already in Britain but over $400 million has been spent by the US on upgrading RAF Lakenheath and other US bases in Europe to store the new B61-12 guided gravity nuclear bomb. The British government as usual says it will not confirm or deny their presence. We’re calling on them to explicitly reject any transfer of US nuclear weapons to Britain.
– Lakenheath is the forward base for US F-35s in Europe. Last year it was selected to host two squadrons (54 planes) of the F-35, the aircraft that will deliver US nuclear bombs. Now the US is building a surety dormitory to house the additional personnel needed for holding nuclear weapons at the base.
– B61-12 guided gravity bomb has a max payload (50kt) over three times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (15kt). Its smallest yield of .3kt means their actual use may be more likely.
– Up until this year, the US was the only country to station its nuclear weapons in a third country. Russia has now done the same by deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus. These aren’t making people in Britain any safer, as any nuclear war between Russia and the US would involve Britain too.
– If the US nuclear weapons return, Britain will then join five other European countries (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Italy) that host US nuclear weapons. This ensures that Europe will be the front line of any wider nuclear war between Russia and the US.
– We also have to be concerned about accidents and the polluting effects of the F-35. The F-35 uses a significant amount of fuel – about 2.37 gallons of fuel for every mile traveled and around 1,340 gallons of fuel per hour (three times the amount of its predecessor the F-16).
–One single F-35 tank of gas produces the equivalent of 28 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
-There have been near misses with aircraft carrying nuclear weapons at Lakenheath in the past. The F-35 has been plagued with development problems, mishaps, and accidents.