Laid-up nuclear submarines at Rosyth and Devonport cost £16m via BBC


Nuclear graveyards

  • No site has been agreed to take the radioactive reactors
  • Devonport has 12 submarines: four defueled, eight with fuel
  • Rosyth has seven submarines, all defueled
  • The oldest submarine is HMS Dreadnought in Rosyth, decommissioned in 1980
  • The latest laid-up submarine is HMS Tireless in Devonport, decommissioned in 2014


“They need to make a decision soon on where they are going take the waste fuel so dismantling can start.”

Nuclear engineering consultant John Large blamed a “lack of decision and decisive management of the decommissioning and dismantling” of the submarines.

‘Continuing radiological risk’

He said it could take several years for each to be decommissioned.

“It also exposes the public, and the naval base workforce, to continuing radiological risk arising from untoward accident or incident,” he said.

Jane Tallents, an adviser on the MoD’s submarine dismantling project and a member of anti-nuclear group Trident Ploughshares in Scotland, said: “The MoD dragged its feet after the first submarine was laid up but 12 years ago they decided to do something.

“It is a complicated project and there have been points where they have stalled and gone slowly but they have kept moving with it.”

The MoD said all the stored submarines “undergo regular maintenance to keep them in a safe condition”.

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