The SNP has today demanded a public inquiry into the decommissioning of nuclear-powered submarines, following the publication of a damning report on how the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has handled the process. The National Audit Office (NAO) found the MoD still does not know how it will finally dispose of 20 decommissioned vessels, several of which remain laid up afloat at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife. The UK now has twice as many submarines in storage as it does in service, and has not disposed of any of the boats decommissioned since 1980. The estimated cost of disposing of a submarine is £96 million, the NAO found, while the MoD has put its total future liability for maintaining and disposing of the 20 stored and 10 in-service nuclear-powered boats at £7.5 billion over the next 120 years. SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald has now called on UK Government ministers to be held to account and “face up to the consequences of their actions”.
Scotsman 3rd April 2019 read more »
The National 4th April 2019 read more »
Herald 3rd April 2019 read more »
A Plymouth MP has demanded the Government acts over ‘rotting’ decommissioned nuclear submarines at Devonport, after an official report revealed the Mod of Defence had no funded plan to defuell the vessels – and hadn’t dismantled one during his lifetime. Speaking in the House of commons today, Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, said: “Back in June last year, I asked the Prime Minister to help fund the recycling of the 20 old nuclear submarines tied up and rotting in Devonport and Rosyth. “Today’s National Audit Office report shows that the Ministry of Defence has no funded plan to do this work, and no submarines have been dismantled since 1980 – that is the year I was born. “Will the Prime Minister now extend the civil nuclear clean-up to make sure that it includes all the Royal Navy submarines, so that we can deal with this issue, and make that part of her legacy in office?” Theresa May replied: “We remain committed to the safe, secure and cost-effective defuelling and dismantling of our nuclear submarines as soon as is practically possible. The MOD continues to act as a responsible nuclear operator by maintaining its decommissioned nuclear submarines to meet the necessary safety and security standards. “I think its commitment is illustrated by the recent success in the initial dismantling of the submarine Swiftsure, which has been followed immediately by the initial dismantling of Resolution. Speaking on twitter, Mr Pollard said: “Just asked the PM to extend funding for civil nuclear clean up to include the 20 old nuclear submarines rotting in Devonport and Rosyth. All I got back was waffle. No submarine has been recycled since 1980. We need a properly funded plan to deal with this nuclear legacy.
Plymouth Herald 3rd April 2019 read more »
The South West’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said it is time for Devonport to ‘move beyond the nuclear age’ and transfer hundreds of nuclear submarine and weapons related jobs into jobs supporting the green economy, particularly renewable energy technologies. The call comes following revelations that Devonport in Plymouth and Rosyth in Fife are storing decommissioned nuclear submarines at a cost to the tax payer of £500m. The Ministry of Defence has been storing the submarines for dismantling, but the disposal has been beset by lengthy delays and spiralling costs. Two and a half years ago, Dr Scott Cato produced a report which outlining how Devonport could sever its links with nuclear defence but maintain employment by transferring investment into sustainable jobs, making use of the skills and resources available at the base.
Green Party 3rd April 2019 read more »