Safety incidents soar at UK nuke base
Iran Press TV
Tue Mar 3, 2015 6:35AM
A new report has revealed that the number of "nuclear safety events" at UK's Naval Base Clyde, where Britain's Trident nuclear submarines are based, has soared in recent years.
The report by The Independent on Monday showed that over the past six years the base has suffered from nearly 400 "widespread" incidents relating to a "poor safety culture."
The number of incidents reached its highest in 2013-2014 when 105 cases were officially recorded. In comparison, 68 incidents were recorded in the previous year.
The figures were released by ministers during a parliamentary session after a request by lawmaker Angus Robertson, the leader of the Scottish National Party's parliamentary group in Westminster.
Among the safety events, a dozen of the cases were deemed as "actual or high" risk of unplanned exposure to radiation or contained release of radiation within a building or submarine.
In particular an event took place in 2012 when contractors working at the naval base were exposed to radiation while repairing submarine equipment.
Robertson commented on the official figures, saying the Clyde base's safety record was "totally unacceptable," adding, "Wherever nuclear weapons or reactors are concerned, safety must be paramount."
"These new figures are totally shocking - a near doubling in the number of nuclear safety incidents within a year is totally unacceptable and needs urgent answers from the MoD," said Robertson.
The SNP lawmaker demanded "an absolute assurance" from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) that safety concerns be given the "highest priority."
Robertson also condemned the expansion work at the naval base, saying the move goes against the majority of Scotland's elected politicians and the public.
"The UK government is still planning to spend £100 billion on renewing the Trident missile system and continue to dump these obscene weapons of mass destruction on the River Clyde, in opposition to the wishes of the majority of Scotland's elected representatives at Holyrood and Westminster - the Churches in Scotland - trades unions and civic society," said Robertson.
An MoD spokesman responded by claiming that none of the reported incidents "posed any risk to the health of our personnel, or to any members of the public."
Britain's Naval Base Clyde also known as Faslane is the main home of UK's Submarine Service, including the country's Trident nuclear missile system.
The Trident program was designed in the 1980s.
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