The danger of a future nuclear winter

nuclear_explosionIf you thought the threat of nuclear conflict ended with the Cold War, think again.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute there are currently around 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with approximately 1800 of them kept in a state of ‘high operational alert’.

Perhaps even more worrying, is the fact that all nine nuclear-possessing nations, are either upgrading their existing nuclear weapons systems or working to develop new ones, according to SIPRI.

Earlier this year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s latest round of talks all but collapsed, with analysts warning a new form of international agreement is needed to keep developments in check.

So how serious is the risk of a future nuclear conflict? And, given international tensions, is any hope of disarmament completely off the table?

To listen online, download the audio file or read the transcript – plus links to sources of further information – please follow this link:


  • Elbridge Colby, Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow, Centre for American Security
  • Dr Helen Caldicott, President of the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free Planet
  • Dr Andrew Davies, Senior Analyst and Director of Research, Australian Strategic Studies Institute
  • Dr Ramesh Thakur, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Australian National University

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