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UK’s Ministry of Defence secretive over nuclear safety failures

The MoD has been trying since 2007 to keep the reports, which give a unique insight into the managing of Britain’s bomb, secret.

MoD papers reveal catalogue of nuclear safety failures – Herald Scotland | News Rob Edwards 17 Oct 2010 Potentially catastrophic lapses in nuclear weapons safety at the Clyde naval base have been exposed by secret Ministry of Defence reports released after a three-year freedom of information battle.

The handling of up to 200 nuclear warheads on Trident missiles at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh has been plagued by confusion, shortcomings and non-compliance with regulations, according to the MoD’s internal safety watchdogs.

The MoD’s nuclear weapon regulator Andy Moore warned: “The fragmentation of approaches to safety management issues does not engender confidence. This is a resource issue for a naval base that is heavily loaded and subject to funding constraints.”The ministry released a series of reports on the eve of an appeal to the UK Information Tribunal that threatened to expose multiple breaches of freedom of information law.

The MoD has been trying since 2007 to keep the reports, which give a unique insight into the managing of Britain’s bomb, secret. Written in 2005 and 2006, they reveal dozens of problems ensuring the safety of the weapons programme.The worst problems were centred at Faslane and Coulport. As well as a shortage of resources, there was “an apparent lack of understanding of the needs of regulators,” said a report by Moore.He said there were difficulties with the replacement of key warhead components and with the use of the controversial shiplift – which can lift a 16,000 tonne submarine out of the water. Moore added the issues had an “impact on Clyde’s demonstrability of safety of nuclear weapons programme activities”….

MoD papers reveal catalogue of nuclear safety failures – Herald Scotland | News | Transport & Environment

October 18, 2010 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | , , , ,

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