Nuclear Weapons

More than 700 safety events have been recorded at Scotland’s nuclear bases since 2006, the MoD has revealed. Defence Minister Stuart Andrew revealed the figures in letters to SNP MP Deidre Brock. A total of 789 nuclear safety events were recorded at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane and nearby Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport in the 12 years between 2006 and 2018.

STV 14th Jan 2019 read more »

The National 14th Jan 2019 read more »

Dundee Evening Telegraph 14th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 14 January 2019

Nuclear Testing

Looking at the azure seas, beautiful blue lagoons and white sand beaches, you might not realise that this place was toxic. But those lagoons are actually craters left by nuclear testing, and if you look down to the end of the beach, you’ll see a concrete dome hiding all kinds of radioactive waste. And now with rising sea levels, the storage facility — housing toxic materials such as plutonium — is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, potentially spreading its deadly contents far and wide.

News.co.au 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Fox News 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Submarines

One of Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines has suffered an “unusual” amount of damage as pictures emerge of HMS Vengeance returning from patrol with around 30 per cent of her sonar panels missing. The ballistic missile submarine returned last week from her latest three-month patrol. As the nuclear-armed vessel surfaced near the Faslane naval base on the Clyde it was obvious the expected level of wear and tear had been exceeded by up to three times the usual amount.

Telegraph 6th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 7 January 2019

Submarines

Britain’s decision in 2016 to renew the country’s nuclear deterrent and build four new state of the art submarines at a cost of £31bn is threatening to sink the UK defence budget. In turn, Dreadnought accounts for one-fifth of the overall nuclear deterrent budget, according to NAO figures for 2018-19.

FT 2nd Jan 2019 read more »

THE MoD has defended its “unjustifiable” plans for a Trident replacement after analysts claimed it could “sink” the defence budget. Anti-nuclear campaigner Bill Kidd MSP – co-president of the international Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) group, which covers more than 75 nations – hit out at Westminster’s “obsession” with the £31 billion project after serious concerns among defence experts emerged.

The National 3rd Jan 2019 read more »

Scotsman 3rd Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 3 January 2019

Nuclear Weapons

Thousands of archive files regarding the UK’s civil nuclear energy and atomic weapons programmes have been removed from public view. The withdrawal of documents dating from the 1930s to the 1980s from the National Archives happened without any explanation and has alarmed academics across the country. The sensitive information in question includes details relating to the creation of Britain’s first nuclear bombs and the private papers of Sir John Cockcroft, the physicist who first split the atom. The papers, which form part of Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) records, contain details regarding bomb tests, feasibility reports and notes on the theoretical physics of atomic weaponry. Others concern the history of the UK’s civil nuclear programme. A spokeswoman for the National Archives said: “We have been asked to temporarily withdraw these records, which is why they now appear on our catalogue as ‘access under review’. For further information, please speak to the transferring authority.” The transferring authority in this case is the NDA – a spokesperson said: “The NDA is absolutely committed to openness and transparency.”

Energy Live News 2nd Jan 2019 read more »

Fragmenting nuclear arms controls leave world in a more dangerous place. US could withdraw from a second treaty while Vladimir Putin’s Russia promises a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Guardian 3rd Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 3 January 2019

Submarines

Scientists point finger for mass whale deaths at rise in submarine war games.

Herald 31st Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 1 January 2019

Submarines

The Ministry of Defence hatched a plan to dump nuclear submarines off the coast of Scotland, newly-released government papers reveal. The confidential survey from 1989 proposed moving decommissioned warcraft from Rosyth naval dockyard and storing them on the seabed near Skye, Mull and Barra. Fife MP Douglas Chapman told The Ferret website that the plan, which was dropped without being made public, shows how the MoD sees Scotland as “some sort of convenient nuclear dustbin”. Defence officials drew up highly-detailed plans for the seabed storage, believing it was “feasible” and would keep the rusting crafts out of view. Six sites on the Western Isles were identified in the document and the plan was they would be hidden for at least 60 years to buy time for a more suitable alternative.

Dundee Courier 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Proliferation

I agree with academic researcher Sue Rabbitt Roff that researchers into the UK’s nuclear history should be alarmed that the publicly-funded Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has ordered certain sensitive documents to be withheld from the regular release of official s documents that always takes place in the final week of the year from the National Archives. The Soviet Union/Russia has participated successively in the SALT, START and INF nuclear disarmament negotiations. Meantime, the UK has not taken part in any multilateral or bilateral nuclear reduction or disarmament talks. Future researchers may wish to find out from the atomic Archives why not. Will they be able to do so?

David Lowry’s Blog 29th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Submarines

The UK government secretly planned to dump the radioactive hulks of 22 nuclear submarines in the sea off north west Scotland, documents released by the National Archives reveal. A survey for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1989 identified six sites for “seabed storage” of defunct naval submarines near the islands of Skye, Mull and Barra for up to 60 years – and probably longer. Detailed and highly confidential MoD studies concluded the plan was “feasible” and would “obviate the international problems which we would face were we to dispose of these vessels in international waters.” The 1989 sea-dumping plan ended up being quietly dropped. But the MoD has still not solved the problem of what to do with the accumulating number of nuclear submarines that have now been taken out of service. Since the 1980s seven defunct submarines have been laid up at the Rosyth naval dockyard in Fife. Since the 1990s, thirteen have been laid up at Devonport naval dockyard in Plymouth, nine of them still containing radioactive fuel. There are a further eight nuclear submarines in service, one in overhaul and nine due to come into service at Faslane on the Clyde, including the proposed new generation of four Trident-armed submarines. That’s a total of 38 nuclear submarines that will eventually require disposal.

The Ferret 30th Dec 2018 read more »

The National 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Proliferation

The International Relations Committee takes evidence on rising tensions between nuclear armed states and the fragmenting of existing non-proliferation and arms control agreements.

House of Lords 17th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 December 2018