Details have been released of more than 500 ‘safety incidents’ at Faslane in Scotland, where the UK’s nuclear weapons system Trident is based.
In two of the episodes the Ministry of Defence revealed that there had been”high potential for radioactive release to the environment”. According to the details released neither of the incidents resulted in “radiological contamination evident”.
While the 500 incidents have taken place since 2006, the figures, released to the SNP in Parliament, show that more incidents have taken place in recent years, 80 in 2016 and 73 in 2017. This increase coincides with the decision by the UK government to extend the lifetime of the current system, while work is underway to replace the submarines and weapons system, at a cost of at least £205 billion.
These incidents show that the UK’s nuclear weapons are not safe and makes the need for them to be immediately taken out of use even more pressing. It is also concerning that details of these events are only released when MPs ask questions, rather than the Ministry of Defence being transparent about the shortcomings of the system.