Nuclear submarines have been using berths around the British coast despite the revelation of serious doubts about the safety of people living nearby in a secret Ministry of Defence review, seen by the Guardian.
The MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), condemned the safety plans drawn up by the Royal Navy to protect coastal communities from accidents as flawed, inaccurate and outdated.
The plans would fail to protect people from radioactive leaks from submarine reactors, significantly misstated the likelihood of a major accident, and in some places did not take account of the risk of collisions with cruise liners and commercial shipping, DNSR said.
The revelations have prompted calls from campaigners for a ban on submarines using the berths, and fears that ports risk “indefinite contamination” from accidents. The MoD said the problems have been “addressed” but gave no details of any measures taken.