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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.

Serious Coolant Leakage from HMS Trafalgar

There has been a serious leak of coolant fluid from a British nuclear submarine at a dockyard on the Devon - Cornwall border.

The Royal Navy has confirmed up to 280 litres of water, likely to have been contaminated with tritium, poured from a burst hose as it was being pumped from HMS Trafalgar. The submarine was alongside at Devonport, after undergoing routine maintenance.

Ministry of Defence spokespersons have played down the seriousness of the incident. However respected nuclear safety expert, John Large, whose consultancy Large and Associates are well versed on maritime nuclear safety issues said:

� The very fact that it was being transferred to a quayside effluent tank and then would have been put through an radioactive treatment process means it was not in a fit state to be directly discharged into the environment.

If the leak was going on unnoticed, then those workers could have walked into it, spread it and taken it into other non-radioactive and non-controlled areas. �

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.

Submarine Accidents

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

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".

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."

Cracking under pressure

Scottish CND report on reactor problems on Polaris submarines

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.

 

Faslane Nuclear Accident

Exercise carried out in 1997