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Trident

Navy act dishonourably throwing out whistleblower

The Navy have thrown out William McNeilly, the submariner who blew the whistle on nuclear submarines, describing Trident as "a disaster waiting to happen". He has been given a dishonourable discharge.  In response a spokesperson for Scottish CND said: 

"When the Navy interviewed McNeilly they were only interested in discrediting what he had published. They don't appear to have tried to get to the root of the problems he raised. The allegations are so serious that they must be investigated thoroughly, not just brushed aside. It is the Navy who have acted dishonourably, not William McNeilly.

Back to the 80s?

In 1980 Margaret Thatcher gave the go ahead for the programme to replace Polaris with Trident. She also allowed President Reagan to base US Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) at Greenham Common. Today we appear to have slipped back to the dangerous world of 35 years ago. David Cameron is preparing to authorise a new submarine-based nuclear weapon system which will replace Trident.  Now Philip Hammond, speaking on the Andrew Marr show, has said that the UK might be willing to accept American GLCM.

GLCM and other Intermediate Range nuclear weapons were particularly destabilising during the Cold War. One of the biggest achievements that has ever been made in nuclear arms control was the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. This removed several types of Russian and American nuclear weapon, including GLCM. 

Minister's statement doesn't address details

Scottish CND expressed concern that the statement by Defence Minister Michael Fallon does not properly respond to the report from Trident whistleblower William McNeilly -
 
"Michael Fallon has casually brushed aside the serious allegations about Trident safety made by William McNeilly. He has slithered out of giving a detailed reply to each of the problems identified in the whistleblower’s report.  The only specific item that he mentions is the question of e-cigarettes. He does not even attempt to answer concerns about a fire in the Missile Compartment of a Trident submarine.  He says nothing about McNeilly’s claim that there is a shortage of suitable people to work on Trident missiles, even though this is confirmed in reports from the MOD and their nuclear regulator. Fallon appears to be more concerned about operational concerns, such as keeping one Trident submarine on patrol at all times, than with safety."

SCND report on Whistleblower allegations

Scottish CND has published a report which examines the claims made by Able Seaman William McNeilly against the background of decades of problems with British nuclear submarines. This has been released prior to a statement from Michael Fallon, Defence Minister, and an adjournment debate on the safety of Trident today.
 
John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND said: "McNeilly's report should not be dismissed as the ill-informed views of a junior sailor. One of his main concerns was the 'scary' shortage of personnel to work on the Trident missile system. Official reports show that there is a 25% shortfall in this area and that the lack of suitable people is the greatest risk to the safety of the defence nuclear programme."
 
William McNeilly's original report 
 
 

Don't mention the Trident Whistleblower

Rum Ration is an unofficial forum for discussion on Royal Navy issues. Rob Edward's article on William McNeilly was posted on Rum Ration last Sunday and then removed by the Ministry of Defence within a few hours. In addition McNeilly's report was posted on scribd.com then taken off the site. So much for transparency.

So you think nuclear submarines are safe?

Below is a list of 47 major incidents and problems on British nuclear po

wered submarines. This list is not comprehensive as many events are still not in the public domain. 

Trident safety raised in Scottish Parliament

The case of the Trident Whistleblower, William McNeil, was raised in First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon called on the UK government to carry out a thorough investigation into the allegations and said that the only way to remove the risk of a nuclear incident was to withdraw Trident.

Shortly after she spoke a nuclear weapons' convoy drove on the Edinburgh by-pass on its return trip from Coulport to Burghfield. It had travelled to Scotland on Monday. On both trips it passed through Stirling.

  

 

 

Whistleblower exposes Trident shambles

A serving submariner has given a damning account of life onboard a Trident submarine earlier this year, describing the vessels as “a disaster waiting to happen”.  William McNeilly was training to work on the Trident nuclear weapons system.  He was on HMS Victorious during a three-month operational patrol which ended in April. He has published a detailed account of technical defects, security breaches and poor safety practice. The Navy has written down detailed procedures for safety and security with regard to Trident. McNeilly reveals that these rules are casually ignored on a daily basis. His account was reported by Rob Edwards in the Sunday Herald. The editorial in the paper argues that the whistleblowers report should spell the death knell for Trident.

John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said:

"McNeilly is a whistleblower who has revealed that there is a callous disregard for safety and security onboard Trident submarines.  He should be commended for his action, not hounded by the Ministry of Defence.  He has exposed the fact that Trident is a catastrophe waiting to happen - by accident, an act of terrorism or sabotage.  We are told that nuclear weapons keep us safe. This report shows that Trident puts us all in great danger.  McNeilly’s report would make a good script for a disaster movie.  Alarms warnings are muted, safety regulations ignored, shortcuts taken, exam results falsified and major defects overlooked. What he says is credible.  Official reports show that the number of safety incidents is very high and rising. McNeilly reveals what this actually means in practice."

SCND welcomes election landslide

Scottish CND welcomed the dramatic result of the election in Scotland. The voters rejected MPs who supported Trident.

John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND said

"The election result is not just a victory for the SNP, it is also a breakthrough for the campaign against Trident. There are now only 2 Scottish MPs who support nuclear weapons.  If David Cameron wants to respect those who live North of the border then he should abandon the plan for new Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Renewing Trident will be like putting two fingers up to the people of Scotland."

Response to Lords, Admirals and Mandarins for the Bomb

There are many reflections of the referendum campaign in the current election battle. One example is Lord Robertson forecasting the end of the world, if we don't renew Trident. This week a group of noble Lords have put down their glasses of finest champagne for long enough to scribble a letter to the Times, insisting that the common man and woman must dip deep into their pockets to find the £100 billion that is needed to buy new nuclear weapons.