Solent Coalition Against Nuclear Ships
44 Carlton Road
Tel: 02380 636 080
MEDIA RELEASE 2nd August 2006
UNLAWFUL USE OF PORT OF SOUTHAMPTON PORT BY RN
SCANS believes that the Navy’s use of the Port of Southampton this week by HMS Tireless is unlawful. There are a number of grounds for this:
The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) requires justification of any radiation risk to the public. In this case it is unlikely that justification could be established. There is no strategic or operational need to bring a nuclear submarine into a commercial port and thus put the public at a risk they were not exposed to beforehand. The PR events currently being carried out by the RN are certainly no justification for this reckless behaviour.
SCANS is also of the opinion that there is no valid and approved off-site safety plan – another requirement of REPPIR. The new SOTONSAFE plan has been prepared to meet this requirement of REPPIR and to supersede the previous inadequate plan. An exercise in testing this plan in February 2006, Operation Foxwater, revealed a long list of problems that still have to be resolved. This was also a very limited exercise, mainly concerned with operations HQ, which actually tested almost nothing “on the ground”. Additionally, the scenario tested was not the most severe of possible accidents that could foreseeably occur, and thus was also in breach of REPPIR.
Southampton City Council has still to debate and decide on the outcome of Operation Foxwater and until it does so SOTONSAFE is certainly NOT the approved plan, as required by REPPIR, which must be in force before a nuclear powered submarine can use this busy commercial port.