Why Nuclear Weapons remain a very present danger – a briefing for UK health professionals


Medact member Frank Boulton has produced the following report on why nuclear weapons remain a very present danger.

This briefing describes the current situation concerning nuclear weapons in a global context and why health professionals have a duty to act urgently.

Nuclear arms are not really ‘weapons’ at all. They are instruments of genocide which create only terror, not security.

Robin Stott ‘Even before the bomb drops’, MCANW 1988


In a world threatened by 17,300 nuclear warheads of which at least 2200 are operational – that is, deployed and ready to fire within hours or even minutes – health professionals are ethically bound to highlight the nature of the threat, even if not used, and to promote disarmament as the best form of prevention. A war in which less than 5% of that operational firepower is detonated would destroy medical services for the millions injured, and risk a decade of global famine which would starve to death a billion or so non-combatants. A peace maintained by massive military spending backed by nuclear hardware merely maintains the power imbalance; it would not be peace at all for the billions who are gravely impoverished, deprived of quality of life, prospects and of human rights.

Download the full report [PDF]