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ScrapTrident


Safety & Accidents

Nuclear sub damaged in collision near Gibraltar

The Faslane-based nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Ambush was badly damaged when it collided with a merchant ship in the Mediterranean at 1.30 pm on Wednesday 20 July. The vessel then entered Gibraltar under tow. 

The Royal Navy said "There are no safety concerns associated with HMS Ambush being alongside". However any collision with a nuclear submarine has the potential to trigger a major accident, particularly if it results in a fire within the confined space of the vessel. The Navy have said that there was no damage to the nuclear-power plant, but have not indicated whether the reactor was running at the time or whether it was shut down by the incident.

MOD simulates Trident convoy crash at Raith Interchange

Declassified reports show that the Ministry of Defence and emergency services would have major problems responding to an accident involving the transport of nuclear weapons across Scotland. Exercise Senator took place in 2011. It was held in Prestwick, but simulated an accident at the Raith Interchange on the M74 in Lanarkshire.
 
John Ainslie, Coordinator Scottish CND said "This exercise highlighted the risks which we live with in Scotland, so long as nuclear weapons are based on the Clyde. The only way to remove this danger is to eject Trident from Faslane."

Motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament - French Nuclear Missile Test Failure

                                                                                             Yesterday the French Navy tested a strategic missile of the new generation M51 (launched from the submarine "Le Triomphant"). The test was a failure and the missile was destroyed briefly after its launch.  

http://tinyurl.com/French-Nuclear-Missile-Failure

In response, Bill Kidd MSP lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament.

 

MOD consultation on scrapped submarines

A sixteen week public consultation by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on options for dismantling submarines that have left service with the Royal Navy starts today (28 October 2011). The consultation aims to seek the views of the public on disposal of the Navy's redundant nuclear submarines, which are contaminated with radioactive waste.

Nuclear submarines banned from Highland Loch

The Ministry of Defence have a long-standing arrangement to berth nuclear-powered submarines in Loch Ewe, but they have not been permitted to visit there since 2008 because there are major flaws in the safety scheme for dealing with any nuclear accident in the area.

Between 13 and 15 May 2008 Exercise Highport took place at Highland Council's emergency bunker in Inverness, with some activity on-site at Loch Ewe and at a second berth in Broadford Bay. The exercise tested the arrangments for responding to a nuclear incident and found them wanting.

Watchdog questions defence nuclear safety

A report release under the Freedom of Information Act reveals major failings in the management of nuclear safety within the Ministry of Defence.  Rear Admiral Gould, chair of the MoD's safety board, identified 11 potential safety risks at sites including Faslane.  One issue was a shortage of suitably trained staff.  Gould pointed out that the MoD's response to change was "generally poor and significantly below best practice in the civil nuclear programmes".  Reported by Rob Edwards in the Guardian.

16 submarine crashes

The MoD have published a list of 16 crashes involving nuclear submarines since 1988. The list was obtained by SNP MP Angus Robertson and was published in the Sunday Herald.  Nuclear Engineer John Large said "One collision is one too many - especially when it involves a submarine with a nuclear reactor".  9 of the 16 incidents took place around Scotland. John Ainslie of Scottish CND said: "It is time the Royal Navy stopped treating the coast of Scotland as a playground for nuclear submarines".

Risk of nuclear disaster at Faslane shiplift

ImageFolllowing a Freedom of Information request from Scottish CND the Ministry of Defence have released risk assessments for a major nuclear accident on the shiplift at Faslane.   The heavily redacted internal reports say that the risk is "close to the tolerability criterion level".

Submarine Accidents

On 26 May the Faslane based submarine HMS Superb collided with rocks in the Red Sea 80 miles South of Suez.

Cracking under pressure

Scottish CND report on reactor problems on Polaris submarines