700 alerts at nu­clear bases

Scottish Daily Mail - - News -

MORE than 700 nu­clear safety events have been recorded at Scot­land’s nu­clear bases, the Min­istry of De­fence has said.

De­fence Min­is­ter Stu­art An­drew re­vealed the fig­ures in let­ters to Na­tion­al­ist 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 be­tween 2006 and 2018. The ma­jor­ity of the UK’s nu­clear sub­ma­rine fleet is based at Faslane, while nu­clear war­heads are stored and loaded onto sub­marines at Coul­port.

Mr An­drew said: ‘I would wish to reit­er­ate that the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­port­ing of these low-level events and near misses is ac­tively en­cour­aged... since such data can pro­vide valu­able les­sons to help avoid more sig­nif­i­cant events.’

A cat­e­gory A in­ci­dent took place at Faslane in 2008 when wa­ter over­flowed from a pri­mary ef­flu­ent barge.

Cat­e­gory A events have ‘ac­tual or high po­ten­tial for ra­dioac­tive re­lease’. Sub­se­quent sam­pling as­sessed the re­lease was less than 0.0001 per cent of the base’s ap­proved an­nual dis­charge lev­els.

The MoD also listed two cat­e­gory A in­ci­dents at Faslane, in 2006 and 2007.

How­ever, the min­is­ter said that in ‘nei­ther event was any ra­di­o­log­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion ev­i­dent’.

Miss Brock called it ‘a shock­ing record of ac­ci­dents and in­ci­dents’.

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