BASIC is seeking to foster informed debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon system, which is currently composed of a fleet of four Vanguard SSBN submarines carrying US-supplied Trident missiles with British nuclear warheads.

Britain faces an imminent decision on the future of its nuclear weapons programme as its current Vanguard class submarines will become increasingly unreliable as we approach 2030. The government announced the start of the process in 2006 and approved the “initial gate” decision in 2011 approving design concepts around a replacement SSBN. A “main gate” decision is planned for 2016 in order to begin construction of the first submarine soon afterwards.

BASIC engages with those who will influence and make the decisions on this in order foster an open and informed debate, ensuring that all decisions and credible options are fully considered. BASIC will be continuing this debate by highlighting the fact that options remain on the table after the May 2015 election. The United Kingdom has an opportunity to help further the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime by making responsible decisions closer to home.

Related projects

  1. The Trident Commission

  2. Talking Trident event series


Recent content about Trident

A Policy Proposal for the UK Government: Prevent a Nuclear Catastrophe

Paul Ingram, BASIC's Executive Director, was one of the judges in the recent Young Student Pugwash competition. Participants were asked to write a blog in response to the below challenge. The winner is Caroline Leroy. We reproduce her blog post here.
The Challenge: “Imagine you are advising the UK government about ways to decrease the globalthreat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In approximately 1000 words, explain a policy, technique or approach that can reduce the threat(s) and make the world, at least a bit, safer.”

The Implications of the Trident Test Failure

Executive Director of BASIC, Paul Ingram, recently authored a piece in the Huffington Post in response to the late surfacing of the June Trident test failure. Paul explores the inescapable truth that human and technological errors could occur at any time and heavily questions the governments attempts to conceal this latest failing, which in a real-life situation could have been catastrophic.