The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) raises today its ongoing and real concerns with safety at the UK’s military nuclear sites, including Devonport Dockyard, where Trident submarines undergo refit, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment, where the UK’s nuclear weapons are made. The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office have recently highlighted serious safety issues in the defence nuclear sector. As such, NFLA therefore calls on the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to work with the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator to push for significant improvements in the sector. In its alarming report, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concluded that the infrastructure supporting the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet, which hosts the Trident nuclear weapons programme, is ‘not fit for purpose’. It goes on to say significant delays to maintenance at 13 Ministry of Defence (MoD) nuclear sites has created a ‘ticking time bomb’ putting nuclear safety and the wider defence nuclear programme under threat. The Committee has previously warned about a £2.9billion ‘affordability gap’ for Ministry of Defence nuclear programmes, and particularly that of replacing the Trident weapons programme. Its latest report now notes that there is likely to be a shortage of space at the Devonport and Rosyth dockyards due to delays in dismantling and removing older redundant submarines.
NFLA 25th Sept 2018 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Peace Minister is devising a plan to be considered by the Shadow Cabinet that he hopes will pave the way for Labour to support scrapping the Trident nuclear deterrent. Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton, an ally of the Labour leader, is working on a defence diversification strategy to show how high-skilled military engineering workers can be retrained to work in industries like health technology, transport and education.
Yorkshire Post 26th Sept 2018 read more »