A lack of money, expertise and disposal sites mean derelict British nuclear submarines containing radioactive material will not be fully dismantled and disposed of for 25 years, officials have admitted. The Royal Navy has 19 old nuclear-powered submarines stored in ports waiting to be dismantled, with another eight due to retire and join them in the coming years. HMS Dreadnought, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered submarine, has been waiting to be dismantled since it retired 36 years ago. Ministry of Defence officials told MPs that radioactive parts on board could not be finally disposed of until an underground dump for all of the UK’s nuclear waste has been chosen and built. That site is not due to be ready until 2040. The submarines are currently stored at Devonport, near Plymouth, and at Rosyth, on the Firth of Forth. Stephen Lovegrove, permanent secretary at the MoD, told the Commons defence committee that a lack of money and skills meant it was impossible to speed up the process. The MoD said contaminated material would be held temporarily at a storage facility in Capenhurst in Cheshire until the underground site was ready, but said dismantling of the first submarine was still not scheduled to begin for at least five years.
Telegraph 18th Oct 2016 read more »