MOD admits hundreds more safety incidents at Clyde nuclear base
MORE than 700 safety events have been recorded at Scotland’s nuclear bases since 2006, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said.
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 between 2006 and 2018.
Earlier, the MOD had disclosed 505 incidents had occurred at Faslane, where most of the UK’S nuclear submarine fleet is based.
Now, another letter shows 284 incidents took place at Coulport, where the nuclear warheads are stored and loaded on to submarines, over the same period.
In the letter, Mr Andrew said: “I would wish to reiterate that the identification and reporting of these low-level events and near misses is actively encouraged in line with International Atomic Energy Agency guidance for protecting people and the environment ... since such data can provide valuable lessons to help avoid more significant events.”
A Category A incident took place in 2008 when water overflowed from a now-decommissioned primary effluent barge.
Category A events have “actual or high potential for radioactive release to the environment of quantities in excess of IRR99 notification limits”.
Subsequent sampling indicated low levels of tritium and “barely detectable levels” of cobalt.
The incident was reported to the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the assessed release to the Gare Loch was less on 0.0001% of the base’s approved annual discharge levels.
The MOD had listed two Category A incidents at Faslane, from 2006 and 2007, but the minister said in “neither event was any radiological contamination evident”.
He added: “None of the events caused harm to the health of any member of staff on the naval base or to any member of the public.”
Mr Andrew said the MOD takes all incidents, no matter how minor, “extremely seriously” and that they are investigated with appropriate measures put in place.
Ms Brock said: “It’s a shocking record of accidents and incidents where the most dangerous weapons on the planet are. One bad accident would be enough to wipe Scotland out and the safety record is appalling.”
One bad accident would be enough to wipe out Scotland