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Navy Plans More Nuclear Submarine Berths

The Royal Navy is to install a series of nuclear submarine berths around Britain. Councils have been told to draw up a long list of contingency plans in case of an emergency to provide back-up for the new \"Z-berths\". The Navy has traditionally based its submarines atCoulport and also uses berths at Loch Ewe, Loch Goil and Broadford Bay, but has decided to increase the locations where a boat can pick up provisions or sailors or tie up in an emergency. During the Cold War the Navy had numerous Z-berths around the country, but these were closed as the Soviet threat faded. Following a review, however, new berths are to be installed in Southampton, Portland and Liverpool, with another one possibly on the East coast. Stewart Kemp, the secretary for Nuclear Free Local Authorities, said people would not approve of the Navy bringing a nuclear reactor into their towns. \"There is a reactor safety issue, as witnessed a few years ago with HMS Tireless in Gibraltar,\" he said. \"This raises the same issues as that of a community living next to a nuclear power station and it is not for nothing that these are in remote areas. \"One of the riskiest times for a nuclear reactor is when it is powering up and powering down, which is what happens when it comes into port.\" A spokesman for Southampton, which should have its Z-Berth operational later this year, said: \"We are going through emergency response exercises but this adds to the burden as there is a lot of work in preparing the plan, which includes a significant amount of medical work.\"