Solent Coalition Against Nuclear Ships
NIS PRESS RELEASE 31 JULY 2006
SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL FORCED TO ACCEPT NUCLEAR SUBMARINE IN THE DOCKS AFTER A SIX YEAR BATTLE WITH NAVY
The nuclear powered submarine, HMS Tireless entered Southampton Docks this morning despite repeated requests to the Royal Navy by Southampton City Council for it not to do so. The boat is moored at the so-called “Z Berth” indicating that it poses a nuclear risk. All emergency services and the City Council are on standby in case there is a problem with this aging submarine’s reactor causing a nuclear release.
After an exercise in February this year, Police, Ambulance and Fire Services reported the need for better communication systems and better training to enable them to try to cope with a nuclear accident. Even the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate admitted there was a problem distinguishing between people who should be evacuated and those who should take shelter. The distribution of Potassium Iodate Tablets (PITS) proved to be another failure. Naval ratings rehearsed delivering PITS to every household and business 2 Km downwind of the submarine, but missed out some areas altogether.
“The Exercise was a shambles. Over 60 problems were identified, some of them serious, yet the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate claimed that the safety plan was “fit for purpose “ without waiting for the Council’s Exercise report. This pre-emptive use of the docks by a nuclear powered submarine is a snub to the Council and the people of Southampton.
There is no need to put this incredibly busy commercial dock and the public at this risk, when naval bases at Portsmouth and Plymouth are near at hand for nuclear submarines.
David Hoadley, Chair of Solent Coalition Against Nuclear Ships
Southampton City Council is not due to approve the safety plan, known as Sotonsafe
until 18th September, after the Exercise report is examined by its Cabinet
Committee on 4th September.
Contact: Di McDonald 02380 554434 / 07880 557035