Cranes that lift nuclear fuel have been halted twice amid a series of safety alerts during a £200m refit of a Royal Navy Trident submarine, it has emerged. The stoppages came at Devonport Dockyard’s 9 Dock, where nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard is berthed. Work was temporarily stopped in July 2017 and in September, said the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) which is investigating the latest alerts. Site operator Babcock said its priority was “high safety standards”. HMS Vanguard has been at 9 Dock since 2015 for a four-year refit and an unscheduled refuelling with a new nuclear core. The ONR, which inspects nuclear facilities, said in its latest report that there had been two “incidents” involving cranes in September. It said “all crane-related work” had been halted temporarily and it had launched a formal investigation. Campaigners the Nuclear Information Service called for “all work at 9 Dock” to be suspended until the ONR investigation had been completed. Director David Cullen said it was “extremely concerning to see these problems happening again and again”.

BBC 6th Dec 2018 read more »


Published: 6 December 2018