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Nuclear Free Zones

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The 1983 Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations came into effect in December 1983. The regulations stated that local authorities must take responsibility for local civil defence, including the provision of emergency centres, arranging suitable staff training, participating in training exercises, and making and updating civil defence plans for their local area.

In response to the passing of the Civil Defence Regulations, a number of local authorities declared themselves Nuclear Free Zones. NFZ Councils resisted Government requirements to draw up plans in case of a nuclear attack, believing that such plans would be futile in the case of an attack. Under pressure from the Government, NFZs moved towards an approach of minimal compliance, drawing up 'planning assumptions', both as a delaying tactic and to provide more realistic scenarios of a nuclear attack. As well as standing in opposition to civil defence policies, NFZs also raised concerns over the transportation of nuclear waste. In 1984, the Nuclear Policy Unit was established by GLC to produce information and develop Councils' nuclear free zone policies.



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