In response to a Parliamentary Written Question, the Ministry of Defence has shed light on the status of the decommissioning of the country’s nuclear submarines.
On June 12, 2023, Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, submitted a written question to the Secretary of State for Defence seeking details on how many decommissioned nuclear submarines were dismantled in each of the last five calendar years.
James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded to the inquiry, stating that there has been good progress in the dismantling process, particularly at the Rosyth site.
He stated that the first stage of dismantling, which includes the removal of all Low-Level radioactive waste, has been completed for four submarines: Swiftsure, Resolution, Revenge, and Repulse.
Cartlidge was quoted saying, “Good progress continues to be made with dismantling decommissioned submarines in Rosyth. The first stage of dismantling, including the removal of all Low-Level radioactive Waste, has been completed on four platforms, Swiftsure, Resolution, Revenge, and Repulse.”
He also highlighted that Swiftsure is slated to be the first submarine to be fully dismantled, with the process expected to be concluded by the end of 2026.
As of June 1, 2023, there are 22 decommissioned submarines awaiting disposal.
This information was disclosed as part of a Parliamentary Written Question and offers critical insight into the UK’s ongoing efforts to securely and responsibly handle its decommissioned nuclear submarines.