Hansard on Nuclear Weapons Transport, April 2008

NIS Note _*MOD appear to be cutting costs and options by reducing NW transporters.* The ministerial reply does not mention SNM carriers, known as Special Nuclear Vehicles (SNVs) – old Seden Atkinson blue box trucks Nos 3 & 4 with grey diamond slots where nuclear hazard warning signs were displayed when loaded with weapons grade materials – or new fuel rods for submarines. Instead the Answer suggests that new TCHDs (Truck Cargo Heavy Duty) Fodens will serve the SNM purpose as well as transporting warheads. This confirms the Nukewatch view that the TCHD convoy spotted on the M5 southbound at Taunton on Thurs 24 April was delivering new fuel from RR Derby to Devonport. 2 TCHDs were seen at Burghfield on the same day. There were a total of 9 TCHDs originally in service. 30 Apr 2008 : Column 484W *Radioactive Materials: Transport* *Mr. Hancock:* To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 7 November 2005, /Official Report/, column 103W, on special nuclear materials load carriers, what the timetable for the introduction of the new load carrier vehicles is; how many there will be; what the cost of each one is; whether they will be operated by the Ministry of Defence Police; how many miles each one is expected to complete before entry into service; and if he will make a statement. [202311] *Mr. Bob Ainsworth:* The current load carrier vehicles are now planned to continue in service until the end of 2010. It is planned to replace them with eight refurbished truck cargo heavy duty trailers and nine newly purchased tractor heads. I am withholding information on the cost of each vehicle as disclosure of this information would prejudice commercial interests. The role of the Ministry of Defence Police during the transport of nuclear materials is to ensure the overall security of any movements of special nuclear materials. The vehicles will be extensively tested for reliability before entry into service, including a programme of verification and validation activities against taut acceptance criteria. The mileage completed will be that necessary to successfully complete this programme.

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