The Dreadnought today is a source of embarrassment rather than pride for the Senior Service. The submarine was decommissioned in 1980 and has been laid up afloat at Rosyth Dockyard ever since. It has now spent double the time tied up in Fife than it did on active service. Another six decommissioned nuclear submarines have since joined Dreadnought at the former naval base. The cost of storing and maintaining them was £1.6 million in 2013/14, down from £3.8m the year before. A total of £16m was spent in a five-year period on 19 laid-up submarines at Roysth and Devonport on the south-coast of England. Although all the vessels in Fife have been defuelled, they cannot be scrapped until their radioactive parts have been removed – a process that will take decades. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced in December it had finally began this gradual process, beginning with HMS Swiftsure, which has been laid up at Rosyth since 1992. “We have begun initial dismantling on time and as planned in Rosyth, and are committed to ensuring that submarine dismantling is undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner,” an MOD spokeswoman told The Scotsman.
Scotsman 17th Feb 2017 read more »