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Nuclear submarine to get new core after test reactor problem via BBC News

Nuclear submarine to get new core after test reactor problem

Low levels of radioactivity have been discovered in the cooling waters of a nuclear submarine test reactor at Dounreay, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

Mr Hammond told MPs that no leak had occurred and said there were no safety implications for staff working on the site, or risks to the environment.

But as a result, HMS Vanguard is to be refuelled with a new nuclear core at a cost of £120m.

The problem was discovered in 2012.

Although the news is only being made public now, the MoD says that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the defence nuclear inspectorate were kept informed.

[...]

The defence secretary said: “These low levels of radioactivity are a normal product of a nuclear reaction that takes place within the fuel but they would not normally enter the cooling water.

“This water is contained within the sealed reactor circuit and I can reassure the House there has been no detectable radiation leak from that sealed circuit.

“Indeed, against the International Atomic Energy Agency’s measurement scale for nuclear-related events this issue is classed Level 0, described as ‘below scale – no safety significance’.”

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  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says

    Where will the replaced core go?



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