Campaigners have revealed that the cost of replacing Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, has risen to £205 billion (US$ 296 billion, €259 billion).
In a briefing published by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, researchers have compiled a comprehensive account of government spending on Trident replacement using the latest publicly available data.
Researchers were staggered to discover that the figure had more than doubled since the replacement cost was last calculated in 2014 for CND’s People Not Trident report.
The debate on Trident replacement often focusses on the cost of manufacturing four successor Trident submarines, but the new briefing highlights all known spending areas such as replacement warheads, infrastructure capital costs, as well as in-service costs and decommissioning.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“For too long the pro-Trident lobby has been in denial about the real cost to our economy of Trident replacement. These new calculations, drawn from actual government figures, show that the bill has spiralled beyond all expectations.
“£205 billion of public money is a huge amount. Pouring it into a nuclear weapons system that experts say could be rendered obsolete by new technology is hardly a wise choice. Far better to spend it on industrial regeneration, building homes, tackling climate change or meeting our defence needs in usable ways.
“The world has moved on since nuclear subs were first designed and procured – politically, economically and technologically and it’s time for our politicians to catch up.”