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Frank Barnaby obituary via The Guardian

Radiation physicist at Aldermaston who went on to warn of the dangers posed by the civil and military uses of nuclear energy


In the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s government in Britain, and Ronald Reagan’s in the US, global investment in the military was huge. Even before a sharp rise in US spending in 1980, military activities worldwide consumed $1m every minute. 


The defence industry had become the world’s second biggest business – after oil – and 40% of the world’s research scientists were funded out of military budgets; while military and defence establishments employed at least 27 million civilians. Soviet and US governments put a military satellite into orbit ever four days on average for two decades.


Working with Greenpeace International in 2001, he gave evidence in Japan against the used of mixed uranium and plutonium oxide fuel, known as MOX, in a reactor at Fukushima. “Frank’s testimony was so impressive and read by the governor of the region that it stopped the loading of MOX fuel for more than 10 years,” said Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace International. In 2011, the reactor was overwhelmed by a devastating tsunami, but because of this intervention Japan was spared the release of many hundreds of tons of fission products – “in other words the evacuation of 50 million plus and the end of central Japan as a functioning society. That was Frank.”


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