THE Journal is to be congratulated for capturing so much of the feel of The Hiroshima Candle Float that took place in Salisbury last Monday evening.

This annual event aims both to remember those who have died as a result of nuclear weapons and also acknowledge that the current risk of nuclear disaster has never been higher than it is today.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its symbolic Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds, to two minutes to midnight recently, in a reflection of how the scientists view the dangers facing the world.

“To call the world’s nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” said Rachel Bronson, the bulletin’s president and CEO, in Washington.

Projected Trident replacement expenditure currently runs at £205bn.

The Public Accounts Committee has raised questions about the affordability of Trident renewal and many senior military people have criticised Trident spending for its huge impact on the broader defence budget.

The latest US Nuclear Posture Review proposes the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons that are so called “low yield” with the intention of being more useable.

It is notable that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would fall into the new definition of “low yield”!

On a more positive note, only 9 countries worldwide have nuclear weapons - the vast majority of the world does NOT want such weapons.

The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace prize recently for its contribution to the establishment of the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons for which 122 countries have voted in favour.

Those 122 countries represent about two-thirds of the member nations of the UN. This is a time for active participation in the new UN Treaty and not a time for complacency.

Peter Gloyns