Bruce Kent of CND and Linda Rogers respond to Owen Jones’ article on Jeremy Corbyn and the UK’s nuclear weapons. Plus letters from Mike Clancy of Prospect, Frank Jackson and David LowryCan Owen Jones (Corbyn has to lead on nuclear weapons, 29 March) really mean that Labour party policy can’t be changed? The only argument for Trident, and any successor, is a false sense of national prestige. Can’t some major trade unions think of anything else to make than weapons of mass destruction? Far from our nuclear weapons being independent, without the regular loan of US missiles we would have nothing on which to put our warheads. They are no answer anyway to suicidal groups or to nuclear accidents. It was Robert McNamara, at the end of a life devoted to nuclear planning, who said that we were only saved by “good luck”. If we have over £205bn to spend, it makes much more sense to spend those billions on the NHS, housing and poverty at home and abroad. The 1968 NPT obliges us to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons “in good faith”. A replacement of Trident does not sound like good faith to me.
• Trying to explain support for civil nuclear energy through links to the defence industry fails for two key reasons (Why is the UK government so infatuated with nuclear power?, theguardian.com, 29 March). Firstly there are strong arguments for a new generation of nuclear power stations. They are a low-carbon source of electricity which should remain an important part of our future energy mix alongside renewables. Unlike renewables, they provide fully predictable, always-on power which will always be needed as part of our energy mix. Batteries may help bridge this gap, but they are an as yet unproven technology, unlike nuclear which has been supplying electricity in the UK since the 1950s.