According to official figures, a total of 789 nuclear safety events were recorded at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane and Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport in the 12 years between 2006 and 2018.
According to the figures, one Category A incident took place in 2008 when water overflowed from a now-decommissioned primary effluent barge. Another was recorded in 2006.
Category A events have “actual or high potential for radioactive release to the environment of quantities in excess of IRR99 notification limits” but it should be noted that in neither event was any radiological contamination evident
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“I would wish to reiterate that the identification and reporting of these low-level events and near misses is actively encouraged in line with International Atomic Energy Agency guidance for protecting people and the environment, since such data can provide valuable lessons to help avoid more significant events.
None of the events caused harm to the health of any member of staff on the Naval Base, or to any member of the public.”
In addition, the MoD also revealed there have been 22 fires on its nuclear submarines since June 2015
The figures were revealed in letters to an SNP MP, Deirdre Brock, who had requested them. Brock said:
“It’s a shocking record of accidents and incidents in places where the most dangerous weapons on the planet are. We already knew that there were 505 nuclear safety events on board submarines while they were berthed at Faslane and now we find that there have been another 284 in other locations at Faslane and at Coulport where weapons are handled.”