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Author Topic: "Nuclear Free Zones"  (Read 890 times)
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John
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« on: December 14, 2015, 17:42:50 PM »

© Crown copyright. IWM (CT 376)

A road sign declaring the City of Southampton a nuclear free zone, 1984. On 6 August 1984, the City of Southampton was declared a nuclear free zone by its local council in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent nuclear-powered warships and submarines of the Royal Navy from docking at the Port's Z Berth. The order was rescinded on 1 July 1987.

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Longpockets
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 19:57:15 PM »


I can remember the London Borough of Lewisham declaring the Borough a nuclear free zone. Not sure which route the nuclear trains from Dungeness took north. I know they went through Tonbridge on their journey. According to Greenpeace they travel through Lewisham.



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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 21:43:49 PM »

I think Crawley was also declared a nuclear free zone and I am sure as a result the USSR would not have targeted Gatwick Airport in the event of a war.

Tim
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John
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 10:06:21 AM »

The Southampton declaration of being a Nuclear Free City in 1984 was at the height of the Cold War - in fact, it was the year when, unknown to the masses, we came closest to war with the USSR due to NATO carrying out Exercise Able Archer. The Soviets got spooked, were convinced the exercise was a cover for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the USSR, and for a moment the world teetered on the brink..

I remember the "Nuclear Free City" sign going up on A33, but there were probably others on the outskirts that I don't recall now. My opinion at the time? Bah, humbug! I was never overly sympathetic towards CND types, and it's only as I matured (?) that I came to realise that not all of them were wooly-headed, misguided pawns of the Communists - just their leaders..
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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 07:59:53 AM »

When the 'Cold War' was at its hottest, some organisation plotted the likely survivability in the UK based on an attack on purely military targets in the UK and assuming normal prevailing winds for fall out.  They were very surprised to discover that East Sussex turned out to be one of the safest places to live in.

Tim
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John
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 19:02:13 PM »

The Stage - Thursday 09 October 1986

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MichaelBully
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 22:23:24 PM »

I had very nearly forgotten about 'Nuclear Free Zones' ! When I was young and idealistic I was a great supporter of CND and the Peace Movement of the 1980's : I have mixed feelings  looking back and don't support CND now. But felt that this movement helped to highlight the dangers of nuclear war and challenged the notion that such a conflict could somehow be winnable.
And as John has so rightly pointed out, it seems that the world really did reach the brink when the Soviets misinterpreted a NATO exercise as being the real deal .
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PNK
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 13:01:57 PM »

I always found the term "Nuclear Free" to be irrelevant when it is not qualified. Did it mean:

1) In the event of a nuclear war people in a nuclear free area would be safe as all the fallout would somehow stop at the border of th borough/town or whatever?
2) No nuclear weapons or waste would be transported through the area (I assumed this is what was really meant).
3) Electricity supplied by nuclear power stations would not be allowed in that area
4) Electricity supplied by nuclear power stations would be free.

I used to be like this at work but was told to shut up most of the time Smiley

P.S. Anyone remember the song "Thank Christ for the Bomb" by The Groundhogs?

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MichaelBully
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 22:16:06 PM »

I would opt for answer 2 but to the best of my knowledge the final decision would be the Ministry of Defence's  not the local authorities' , regarding materials needed to maintain Britain's nuclear weapons.  So Nuclear Free Zones are very much a token gesture.

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