Recent series of Indian Point shutdowns worst in years
Ernie Garcia, firstname.lastname@example.org
BUCHANAN — Four unplanned reactor shutdowns over a two-month period at Indian Point are the most setbacks the nuclear power plant has experienced in years.
A review of unplanned shutdowns from January 2012 to the present showed this year’s events happened within a short time frame, between May 7 and July 8, in contrast with events from other years that were more spread out, according to data released by Indian Point.
So many mishaps at the Entergy-owned plant haven’t occurred since 2009, when one of two units at the Buchanan site experienced a similar series, said plant spokesman Jerry Nappi.
Besides a May 9 transformer failure that spilled some 3,000 gallons of oil into the Hudson River, this year’s shutdowns were prompted by a May 7 steam leak, a July 8 pump motor failure and a June 15 switch yard breaker failure offsite in a Consolidated Edison substation.
If a nuclear plant has more than three unplanned shutdowns in a nine-month period, its performance indicator could be changed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which results in additional oversight. That’s what happened with Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., after four unplanned shutdowns in 2013.
So far, Entergy said there doesn’t appear to be a pattern to the Indian Point shutdowns.
“You do want to look at these events holistically to see if there is something in common, but you also look individually to see what the causes were,” Nappi said. “A plant shutdown in and of itself is not a safety issue.”
One of the four recent Buchanan shutdowns triggered a special inspection by the NRC and calls to close the nuclear plant by environmental groups and elected officials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said in the past Indian Point should close, but his office did not respond to a request for comment about whether the recent shutdowns have prompted any state scrutiny.
The NRC is expected to release a quarterly report on Indian Point this month that will address the transformer failure and, by year’s end, is planning an inspection of the transformer and an analysis of transformer issues since 2007.
Besides its transformer-related inquiries, the other three shutdowns have not raised “any immediate safety concerns or crossed any thresholds that would result in additional NRC oversight,” agency spokesman Neil Sheehan wrote in an email.
The unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point and Pilgrim in Massachusetts were mostly preventable, said Paul Blanch, a former Indian Point employee with 45 years of nuclear power experience.
“For this to happen this frequently indicates a deeper problem,” he said. “I believe it’s management oversight in the maintenance of these plants.”
Nappi said the transformer that failed May 9 and caused a fire and oil spill into the Hudson was regularly monitored. Investigators determined the failure was due to faulty insulation.
“The transformer inspection and reviews were in accordance with our standards and industry expectations, yet there was no indication the transformer was going to fail,” Nappi said.
The NRC conducted a separate, but related special inspection into the May 9 incident that focused on a half-inch of water that collected in an electrical switchgear room floor. Inspectors determined a fire suppression system’s valve failed to close properly.
Inspectors noted in their report that Entergy knew about that problem since April 2011 and replaced the valve but didn’t discover the actual cause — a dysfunctional switch — until after the fire.
Indian Point’s Unit 3 was down 19 days May through July, with the transformer failure accounting for 16 days. The shutdowns didn’t cause the public any supply problems because New York’s grid can import electricity from other states and New York has an energy plan to maintain reliability, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The nuclear energy industry judges a power plant on how continuously it produces energy, which is called a capacity factor.
There were 100 nuclear plants in the United States in 2014, a record year in terms of efficiency. In January, the Nuclear Energy Institute announced the U.S. average capacity factor was 91.9 percent.
Indian Point has an above-average efficiency rate. The plant’s Unit 2 and 3 reactors were each online more than 99 percent of the time during their most recent two-year operating cycles. They are currently in the middle of other cycles
Day: January 11, 2023
The Russian Horn promises a stronger military: Daniel 7
Amid Ukraine war, Putin’s top brass promise a stronger military
Guy Faulconbridge3 minute readJanuary 10, 20234:20 AM MSTLast Updated 8 hours ago
MOSCOW, Jan 10 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin’s defence minister vowed on Tuesday to build a deeper arsenal of weapons, bolster aviation technology to better evade air defences and improve drone production after a series of battlefield humiliations in Ukraine.
Since Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, the once mighty army of a former superpower has been repeatedly outwitted and outmaneuvered by the smaller Ukrainian army, which is supported by the United States and its European allies.
The conflict has turned into a grinding war of attrition that has killed and wounded tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides as well as Ukrainian civilians, though there is no end in sight and both sides are re-arming as fast as they can.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told top generals that to renew the army they would have to take account of the experience of fighting in the Syrian civil war – where Russia intervened on the side of President Bashar al-Assad – and in Ukraine.
“We need to constantly analyse and systematise the experience of our groups’ actions in Ukraine and Syria, and on that basis to draw up training programmes for personnel and plans for the supply of military equipment,” Shoigu said.
Putin, after meeting the mothers of dead soldiers, ordered Shoigu on Jan. 2 to prepare a report on how military units are supplied, with details about weapons and equipment as well as proposals on how to improve the defence ministry’s work.
Shoigu said Russia would continue to develop its nuclear triad of ballistic missiles, submarines and strategic bombers because such weapons were “the main guarantee of its sovereignty”.
On conventional weapons, Shoigu gave a remarkably frank analysis of where Russia needed to improve.
Nationalist critics of Shoigu have repeatedly asked why Russia failed to establish air superiority in Ukraine, why top generals made such grave tactical mistakes and why Russian soldiers were sent into battle without the right equipment, intelligence or even medical kits.
Shoigu said Russia would pay particular attention to the air force, build up its overall strike capabilities and improve command, communication and training.
Russia will “increase the combat capabilities of the aerospace forces – both in terms of the work of fighters and bombers in areas where modern air defence systems are in operation, and in terms of improving unmanned aerial vehicles”.
“Our immediate plans are to expand the arsenals of modern strike weapons,” he said. “We need to improve the management and communication system.”
Shoigu also said the military commissariats, which are responsible for drafting soldiers, needed to be modernised.
After Putin ordered on Sept. 21 what he cast as a “partial mobilisation”, Russia’s first since World War Two, around 300,000 additional men were drafted, though several hundred thousand more Russian men fled abroad to avoid being called up.
“It is necessary to digitalise databases, establish interaction with local and regional authorities, as well as industry,” Shoigu said of the commissariats.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Gareth Jones
Support for the South Korean Nuclear Horn Is Growing: Daniel 7
Support for Nuclear Weapons Is Growing in South Korea
The ROK and US will have to strengthen their relationship to weather threats from North Korea.
Words: Bo Ram Kwon
In 2021, North Korea boasted that its “ultramodern” tactical nuclear weapons were ready for deployment. At the time, the intensifying US-China strategic competition under the “America First” campaign was fueling China’s nuclear ambitions. Moreover, the US commitment toward protecting its security allies, particularly on providing extended deterrence, waned as former President Donald Trump offered to allow allies to acquire their own nuclear arsenal to reduce “costs.” As a result, public opinion indicated the need to take nuclear matters into South Korea’s own hands, either by persuading the United States to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on Korean soil or develop capabilities of its own. In all, conservatives became more realistic, and progressive elites more skeptical about US security commitments.
The security environment surrounding the Korean peninsula in January 2023 is even more dire. In 2022, North Korea returned to testing a record number of ballistic missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, and has even rehearsed a nuclear attack against the South. The provocations have not only increased in frequency but also in the variety of methods, which makes interception more difficult.
If North Korea conducts its seventh nuclear test, it may choose to mount tactical nuclear warheads on shorter-range missiles that threaten South Korea and other US allies in the region. As if to validate these concerns, North Korea welcomed 2023 by firing four short-range missiles that could “attack any part of South Korea mounted with tactical nuclear weapons.” Moreover, Kim Jong Un recently called for an “exponential increase” in its nuclear weapons arsenal at the Workers’ Party’s policy meeting, indicating that strengthening its nuclear weapons program is a major goal of 2023.
North Korea’s nuclear prowess is growing against Russia’s war in Ukraine, ushering in what Richard Haass has called the “dangerous decade.” World order is now a combination of the traditional geopolitical order and the globalization order, making it more vulnerable to spoiler attempts. As long as strategic cooperation between China and Russia prevails, North Korea is set to take advantage of the rift between US-led democratic and non-democratic leagues to enhance its bargaining position and increase the stakes. It may well have learned from Ukraine that keeping its nuclear weapons is worth it.
Last September, Kim Jung Un formally ruled outthe possibility of denuclearization talks. Of course, it did not help that the Biden administration’s inward focus on winning the midterm elections and outward focus on winning the strategic competition against China while keeping Russia at bay kept North Korea low among its priorities.
As North Korea is bent on heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula and beyond, the ROK and the United States must continue to make substantive progress in strengthening extended deterrence and alliance credibility.
Public opinion polls in 2022 showed steady or growing support for some form of South Korea’s nuclear armament. Korean and American academics and policymakers have begun to actively exchange views on allowing US allies, such as South Korea, to develop their own nuclear weapons. These efforts were buttressed by US expert recommendations “to accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons” and that “some form of arms-control proposal” is the only realistic option to limit North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and missile systems. Others went further to argue that “direct South Korean/Japanese deterrence is an increasingly better option” and that the United States should let the nuclear debate take its own course in East Asia. However, public opinion polls remain sensitive to how the question and tradeoffs of going nuclear are portrayed in the surveys. Meanwhile, academic research provides evidence that leaders should not fear strong public pressure to use nuclear weapons in an escalating crisis during which North Korea attacks a US ally.
What is reassuring is that these discussions are taking place against the backdrop of a strengthened ROK-US alliance and joint decision-making to make extended deterrence more credible. In addition, the 54th Security Consultative Meeting Joint Communique specified that the United States will utilize “the full range of its defense capabilities,” including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities and advanced non-nuclear capabilities.
The United States also promised to increase the frequency and scale of strategic asset deployments to the Korean peninsula. The allies plan to conduct joint military exercises that include scenarios in which North Korea uses its nuclear weapons. In addition, South Korea and the United States will enhance consultation processes, including the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group, and make progress in joint nuclear planning to deter and respond to North Korea’s threats. Such necessary developments were prescribed as early as February 2021.
NAVIGATING ITS COMPLEX SECURITY ENVIRONMENT
On his campaign trail, President Yoon Suk-yeol, who came into power in May 2022, emphasized the need for a bold national strategy to navigate the complex security environment. Developing nuclear weapons was not part of the agenda. Instead, he was determined to broaden South Korea’s diplomatic bandwidth to harness the region as a whole to secure its national interest rather than focus solely on engagement with North Korea.
With aspirations to become a pivotal global state, the Yoon administration published South Korea’s first-ever Indo-Pacific Strategy document, the “Strategy for a Free, Peaceful, and Prosperous Indo-Pacific Region,” in December 2022. This strategic drive promises to contribute to peace and stability in the region. However, the most significant constraint South Korea needs to overcome, which differentiates its strategy from that of other like-minded nations, is that North Korea remains the primary existential threat.
As North Korea is bent on heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula and beyond, the ROK and the United States must continue to make substantive progress in strengthening extended deterrence and alliance credibility. Much collaborative research must be done in theory development and extracting empirical implications for policymakers.
Bo Ram Kwon is an Associate Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA).
White House Pushes Obama-Iran Deal Aside: Daniel 8
US National Security Adviser: Iran nuclear deal ‘set aside’ for the meantime
“We’ll work through our differences with Israel,” says Jake Sullivan.
US National Security Advisor Jake SullivanREUTERS/Leah Millis
Although the Iran nuclear deal will be among the topics he discusses when he meets Prime Minister Netanyahu during a future trip to Israel, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that for the time being, efforts to revive the deal (opposed by Israel) had been “set aside” in favor of other pressing matters.
Sullivan is currently in Mexico with U.S. President Joe Biden, and did not give a date for a planned trip to Israel. According to a spokesman for the National Security Council, the dates have not been set.
“I’ll be going to Israel and [the nuclear deal] will be a substantial topic of discussion when I go,” Sullivan told reporters. “We’ll have the opportunity to engage deeply with the new Israeli government on the threat posed by Iran. And I think we share the same fundamental objectives. And we will work through any differences we have on tactics, the same way that we have over the course of the past two years.”
The United States is currently focusing its attention on the Russia-Ukraine war and its efforts to persuade Iran to stop sending drones to Russia.
For his part, Netanyahu said that, “The time has come for Israel and the United States to be on the same page, and I expect to discuss this with President Biden and his staff. There is now more unanimity on this subject than at any other time.”
Who is the Antichrist? (Revelation 13)
Who is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?
By Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Updated 5:20 AM ET, Fri May 6, 2016(CNN)
Muqtada al-Sadr isn’t an ayatollah.
He’s not a general and he’s not a politician, at least in the conventional sense. But with a single speech he can spark a protest that ends up in with hundreds of Iraqi Shiites storming their parliament. He’s commanded a militia of thousands, some who fought and killed U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. And he’s been on TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.
This is how he’s managed to gain such prominence — and retain it.
The Sadr family
Sadr was born in 1973 in the Shiite holy city of Najaf to a prominent family.
The city, which is about 100 miles south of Baghdad, is home to the Imam Ali shrine, where the eponymous cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad is buried. Shiites believe that Ali was the rightful successor to Muhammad.
Sadr’s father, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, was an important Shiite figure in Iraq who openly spoke out against Saddam Hussein and his ruling Baath party.
The elder Sadr and two of his sons were assassinated in 1999 in Najaf, and many believe that he was killed either by the dictator’s forces or Sunnis loyal to him.
Despite the cult of personality Muqtada al-Sadr has developed in recent years, he is still a relatively private man. He does not appear in public often and his exact age was not known until recently.
Protesters in Kadhimiya, Iraq, hold up pictures of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr’s father.
The Mehdi Army
Sadr is best known to Western audiences for his role leading the Mehdi Army, which he formed in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The militia is considered the armed wing of the Sadrist movement, which followed the teachings of Sadr’s father. Its power base was in Najaf and the massive Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, which is home to more than 2 million Shias.
Sadr himself opposed the presence of outside forces in Iraq — be they al Qaeda’s Sunni fighters or U.S. forces — and hoped to establish Islamic rule within the country, clashing with the Iraqi Army, U.S. forces and fellow Shias.
By 2004, forces loyal to Sadr battled the U.S. for control of Najaf. President George W. Bush labeled him an enemy and ordered the U.S. military to take him out.
“We can’t allow one man to change the course of the country,” he said, according to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.
Within a week, Bush changed course and decided not to go after him.
“That reversal was the turning point in al-Sadr’s rise to power,” Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, said. “It gave him legitimacy and enhanced his stature within the broader Iraqi community.”
Later that year, Sadr made peace with the most powerful Shia religious figure in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who brokered a truce between U.S. forces and the Mehdi Army. The deal brought together the unquestioned spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia population and the man who could mobilize the Shia “street.”
The Mehdi Army in Najaf in 2007.
As part of the agreement, the Iraqi government agreed not to press charges after a judge issued an arrest warrant for Sadr in connection with the killing of another prominent Shia leader, Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei.
But the Mehdi Army became even more deadly as the war dragged on.
The militia was linked to much of the sectarian violence that reached fever pitch in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. It was accused of running death squads, killing Sunni Arabs and fighting with rival Shiite factions, though Sadr would denounce the violence from time to time.
After more than 200 people were killed in an attack on Sadr City in 2006 — one of the deadliest periods in the Iraq war — Shiite militants responded by burning people to death and attacking Sunni mosques.
By the end of the year, Pentagon leaders assessed that the Mehdi army had replaced al Qaeda as “the most dangerous accelerant” of sectarian violence in Iraq.
But the Mehdi Army also clashed with other Shiite militias. The group often clashed with Badr Brigades for control of parts of Iraq’s Shiite-dominate south. At one point the Badr Brigades partnered with Iraqi security forces to fight the Mehdi Army.
However, the Mehdi Army’s power and influence began to subside by the end of 2007, in part due to the U.S. troop surge.
Sadr’s capacity to reinvent his role in Iraqi politics, and to tap into a strong vein of Shia protest, has helped him survive and outmaneuver many rivals over the past 13 years. His latest initiative reinforces his place as one of the most influential figures in Iraq.
He and the Iraqi government signed a ceasefire in 2008, and later that year he formally disbanded the Mehdi Army.
The organization is now called Saraya al-Salam, which means the Peace Brigades.
His plan was to transition it into a socio-political populist movement to help Iraq’s poor Shiites through a combination of political and grassroots activities — following a similar model to the structure of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Sadr would move to Iran later that year for religious study. Some believed that he hoped to achieve a higher religious standing, like Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, in order to strengthen his leadership position.
Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech in Najaf in 2011.
He returned to Iraq permanently in 2011 — more than three years later — without a new title, but with ambitions to become an Iraqi nationalist leader who could make a difference by growing his movement and pushing his followers to the ballot box.
“We have not forgotten the occupier. We remain a resistance,” he said in one of his first speeches back. Sadr did strike a conciliatory tone with fellow Iraqis: “Whatever struggle happened between brothers, let us forget about it and turn the page forever and live united,” he said. “We do not kill an Iraqi.”
Though Sadr rarely makes public appearances, his plan seems to have worked so far.
During Iraq’s 2010 elections, his supporters were key to helping then-Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki secure a second term; today they make up the second-largest bloc in Iraq’s Parliament.
Muqtada al-Sadr and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in 2006.
But Sadr and Maliki have since had a nasty falling out, and now are considered rivals in Baghdad.
After the 2010 election, Sadr referred to Maliki as a “dictator.”
He often called for the government to better include moderate Sunni elements, a faction that most say was marginalized by the Maliki government, which led to his ouster (and in part contributed to the rise of ISIS).
His support for Iraq’s current Prime Minster, Haider al-Abadi, is lukewarm at best.
Sadr is now focusing his efforts on reshaping Iraq’s government — he wants more technocrats appointed and to go after corrupt politicians.
Sadr’s supporters held massive protests earlier this year to push Abadi to form a new government and enact reforms. The demonstrations were called off after Abadi trimmed the size of his Cabinet and submitted a new list of nonpolitical ministers for approval by parliament.
And it was Sadr’s impassioned speech late April that spurred protesters to occupy the Iraqi Parliament and Baghdad’s Green Zone, a normally off-limits area housing government buildings and foreign embassies.
CNN’s Tim Lister, Hamdi Alkhshali, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Elise Labott contributed to this report
The Russian Nuclear Triad: Daniel 7
RUSSIA. Putin’s nuclear triad
RedazioneGennaio 9, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his end-of-year speech before defence summits in Moscow that his country will raise the combat readiness of its ‘nuclear triad’, after warning of the growing danger of nuclear war amid tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine.
Putin pledged to develop hypersonic weapons ‘unmatched in the world’ as part of a plan to strengthen strategic weapons, noting in this context that two missile models, ‘Sarmat’ and ‘Zircon’, will enter service.
Before then, the Russian president confirmed that Moscow might add to its military doctrine the possibility of directing a pre-emptive nuclear first strike to disarm its adversary.
The nuclear triad is a term that refers to the 3 launching means that most nuclear powers possess, through which nuclear strikes, both pre-emptive and in response to an attack, can be launched from land, sea and air, in particular from ballistic missiles, submarines and bombers.
According to Western reports, Russia, which inherited its nuclear arsenal from the Soviet Union, possesses 5,977 nuclear weapons, some strategic and some tactical (about 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence). According to the US Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, 1,588 Russian nuclear weapons are currently in duplicative mode.
The strategic nuclear warhead includes an explosive payload ranging from 500 to 800 kilotons, and its range is greater than the tactical nuclear warhead, whose explosive payload ranges from 10 to 100 kilotons, each kiloton being equivalent to one thousand tonnes of explosive TNT. Russia outnumbers the US by about 500 nuclear warheads and the two countries possess 90% of all nuclear weapons in the world.
In 2019, a Princeton University study, requested by the anti-nuclear organisation ICAN, predicted that in the event of a nuclear war between Russia and America, 34 million people would be killed and 57 million injured in the first hours of the confrontation.
The characteristics of Russia’s nuclear triad are according to the US Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation report as follows:
Nuclear air force. Russia has some 68 long-range heavy hypersonic bombers in its nuclear air fleet, including several versions developed by Tupolev, including the Tu-160 Blackjack and the Tu-85MS (Bear H) (Tu-85MS), the second class making up the bulk of the fleet. One bomber can carry up to 16 Soviet-made HK-55 missiles and all of these launchers can carry 700 nuclear warheads. Russia is working to modernise its airborne nuclear force by introducing bomber-launched nuclear cruise missiles.
Naval nuclear force. The Russian Navy’s nuclear force includes 11 nuclear submarines designed to launch ballistic missiles that can be equipped with nuclear warheads. Active submarines such as the Bulava SS-N-32 can each carry 16 ballistic missiles, and in total are capable of carrying 624 nuclear warheads. Last July, the Russian Navy received the ‘Belgorod Kay-329’ submarine, which is the largest nuclear submarine built in 30 years, according to the US Naval Institute. Russian sources attribute enormous destructive nuclear capabilities to this submarine, including the generation of tsunami radiation waves more than half a kilometre high. Another 10 Borei submarines are being modernised and their development is expected to be completed in 2027, but implementation is facing a shortage of resources. Russia has 26 other nuclear-powered submarines that can strike with different types of conventional cruise missiles.
Nuclear missile force. Russia is believed to have 306 intercontinental missiles that can carry up to 1185 nuclear warheads and are capable of striking faraway places, including US territory. One of the most important of these missiles is the Topol-M, which has a range of 11,000 km, and Yars, which has a range of 12,000 km, both capable of carrying several nuclear warheads. Russia is currently developing hypersonic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads such as Sarmat and Avangard, and Russian officials claim that some of them cannot be intercepted.
Some estimates say that the Sarmat missile could have a range of 35,000 km. Earlier this year, the Russian military conducted a test of this missile, and Russian media claimed that it flew about 6,000 km inside Russia before hitting the specified target.
How did the UK Horn develop its nuclear weapons programme? Daniel 7
Trident: How did the UK develop its nuclear weapons programme?
9th January 2023 at 8:25am
In 1941, the then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill authorised the development of an atomic bomb after a report showed it was achievable.
However, the UK got off to a slow start with Churchill eventually reaching an agreement with US President Franklin Roosevelt to join the US’ top secret Manhattan Project.
Taking place in New Mexico, the project also saw Canada take part, but in 1946 the collaboration was brought to an end with the UK deciding to pursue an independent programme.
This led to the UK successfully testing its first Atomic Bomb in 1952 – the same time the US was testing its thermonuclear hydrogen bomb (H-Bomb).
Following the US, the Soviet Union started working on its own H-Bomb in 1954.
In 1956, the UK had its first operational nuclear weapon – the Blue Danube free-fall bomb.
This was carried by the RAF’s fleet of V-Bombers, made up of the Valiant, Victor and Vulcan aircraft.
The UK began development on a thermonuclear weapon and, in 1957 and 1958, carried out the first detonation of an H-Bomb in Malden and Christmas Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean.Watch: How do you dismantle a nuclear submarine?
However, the UK’s nuclear weapon development was about to undergo a radical change.
Due to concerns about the V-Bombers’ vulnerability to Soviet air defences, the UK started to develop a ground-launched, silo-based missile system called Blue Streak.
This was cancelled in 1960 due to concerns about any potential pre-emptive strikes on the missile silos.
Based solely on the V-Bomber force, the UK was left with a nuclear weapons capability lacking credibility.
But, in 1962, then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John F Kennedy signed the Nassau Agreement, giving the UK access to the Polaris missile system.Watch: Nuclear test veterans to be recognised with medal.
A submarine-based system, Polaris entered service in 1968, with the V-Bombers stepping down from their nuclear role in 1969.
For 11 years, Polaris remained the UK’s nuclear deterrent but, in 1980, the UK procured the Trident missile system from the US.
Still the UK’s nuclear deterrent today, Trident is housed in four Vanguard-class submarines built in 1994, with Polaris eventually taken out of service in 1996.
Most recently, the UK Government announced the next generation of nuclear submarines in 2016.
The Dreadnought class of subs can produce their own oxygen and water, measure 153m in length and are expected to enter service in the 2030s.