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Operational berths

Independent report highlights risks of nuclear powered submarine visits to Southampton

VIDEO: Independent nuclear engineer John Large discusses shortfalls in emergency arrangements for nuclear powered submarines visiting Southampton.


Emergency services could not cope with nuclear submarine accident

An independent nuclear expert has cast doubt about the ability of emergency services to cope with an accident involving a release of radiation from one of the Royal Navy's nuclear powered submarines when berthed in Southampton Docks.

Navy plans to cut size of nuclear submarine protection zones

Nearly 6000 households in Southampton will be denied tablets which would protect families from radiation in the event of an accident on board a nuclear submarine visiting Southampton docks under new emergency arrangements.



Faslane Safety Failures

Devastating admissions about one of Britain’s most significant nuclear sites are disclosed in MoD documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The sprawling and heavily-defended base for the UK’s nuclear deterrent at Faslane, is a facility which dominates the coastline on a quiet sea loch north-west of Glasgow.

Hansard on Nuclear Submarines in Southampton, 12th Jan 2009

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 754W, on nuclear submarines, on what date the number of operative submarine berths at Southampton was increased from one to two; and when such berths were redesignated from Z to operational submarine berths. [244580]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of berths, as determined by the Port Authority at Southampton, has always been two; but they are only cleared to support one submarine at any one time.

Nuclear Submarine Accident Exercise near Southampton

Monitoring of Royal Navy and Southampton City Council Potassium Iodate Tablets (PITS) distribution exercise in Hythe, 18th November 2008 


Z Berth Nuclear Accident Plans in Scotland

From BBC Scotland (Also broadcast on BBC Scotland lunchtime news Monday 17th Nov 2003)

Anti-radiation pills for Highlanders

More than 1,000 people living in the west Highlands are to be issued with pills to be taken in the event of a nuclear submarine accident.

Parliamentary question: Submarines (Pollution)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the levels of radioactive pollution on foreshores close to the locations of Z berths (a) in Portsmouth harbour and (b) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement. [64784]

Southampton - Z berth exercise

Southampton City Council's  Nuclear Emergency Plan can be found on
For a quick example of the sort advice give to the public see:

Navy plan to re-introduce nuclear submarines into UK commercial ports

On Wednesday 22nd February 2006 a nuclear accident exercise will take place in Southampton. The Navy aims to prove that in the event of a nuclear reactor accident in a submarine moored at a "Z Berth", people will be protected from radiation. Protection is offered by advising people to take shelter and to self-evacuate from shopping areas in the town. In addition Potassium Iodate Tablets (PITS) will be distributed to everyone within a 2 Kilometre radius of the Z Berth. The so-called ‘Foxwater06’ exercise will largely simulate these events with a table-top exercise.