Nuclear expert sheds light on ‘War Factories’

A nuclear expert from the University of Leicester has featured on a new UKTV documentary covering the industry of conflict.

Andrew Futter is a Professor of International Politics and a leading academic in the politics of nuclear weapons.

He lent his expertise to the ‘War Factories’ documentary, first shown on UKTV channel Yesterday earlier this month. The series tells the story of how the First and Second World Wars were fought not just in the trenches and tank traps of the Somme, D-Day or Kursk, but in the factories and production plants of Britain, Russia and the USA.

Professor Futter discussed the USA’s top-secret Manhattan Project of research and development, which culminated in the first two – and to date only – nuclear devices used in conflict, on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said:

“The threats posed by nuclear weapons remain as important and acute today as at any point since their first and only use in 1945, when approximately 200,000 people died as a result of two rudimentary atomic bombs.

“Today there are over 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world, most of which are far more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is therefore essential that we continue working to ensure that they are never used again.”

Professor Futter has authored several books on the risks posed by nuclear weapons and advanced military technologies, and in 2020 was awarded a European Research Council grant of €1.6million for his multi-year Nuclear Revolution project.

The study aims to undertake the first systematic global examination of how disruptive technologies and changing geopolitical norms are transforming the global nuclear order and driving us into a new and perhaps more dangerous ‘Third Nuclear Age’, and will also include an innovative war game exercise.