It has been reported that a safety breach saw some workers exposed to small amounts of radiation at Faslane.

Workers were inadvertently exposed to a low dose of ionising radiation as they were repairing a leaking tank on a Vanguard submarine at the same time a nearby reactor was undergoing trials.

The MoD said no one was harmed in the incident, which took place in August 2012. Details were revealed by the campaign group Nuclear Information Service after a Freedom of Information request response by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

A report identified “poor communication” and “a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the hazards present when operating a reactor” as contributing factors.

It is understood that in April 2012 a training team was allowed to visit a submarine and enter a radiation exclusion zone without being issued with dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to ionising radiation.

The MoD said:

“Safety at Clyde naval base is of paramount importance and none of the events in this report caused harm to any member of staff or the public. Investigations were carried out and measures put in place to prevent such incidents from occurring again, and we continue to conduct rigorous monitoring as part of our commitment to maintain the highest standards.”

Faslane hosts just under 10,000 people and is Scotland’s largest single site employer.

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Toby Noskwith
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Toby Noskwith

Faslane is at the centre of what is quite possibly the most efficient and professional nuclear material handling operation in the world. This incident is unfortunate and I for one hope that no-one was in mortal danger or permanently hurt. Nevertheless, the rarity of even minor incidents like this one is a testament and reminder of the sheer effectiveness of the safety regime at Faslane. It is a terrible pity that certain political elements seize on incidents such as these not out of a constructive desire for improvement but instead out of pure spite for the nuclear defence programme. There… Read more »