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Convoy of Death: Nuclear Weapon Transport Accidents Hit Record Highs in the UK via Sputnik

Safety issues compromizing nuclear bomb convoys regularly travelling throughout the UK have risen to record highs, according to Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures.

The total number of incidents logged by officials in 2017 was 44, the most since 2008, and brings the total number of recorded incidents in the last decade to 179. 

While specific details of what happened in each case have not been released, previous freedom of information act requests have shown common incidents include equipment failures, collisions and breakdowns.

[…]

The convoys, which typically comprise 20 or more military vehicles, transport Trident nuclear warheads at least six times annually between the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Long Loch’s Coulport Loch near Glasgow and the bomb factory at Burghfield in Berkshire, where they’re maintained.

Along the way, they travel close to major UK population centers such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle — and while they’re meant to be conducted in strict secrecy, members of the public often photograph and film their movements, sharing the content on social media. Nonetheless, a 2016 YouGov poll indicated 64 percent of British adults are unaware of the convoys — and 47 per cent of respondents said they were ‘concerned’.

[…]

For instance, in the event of a serious accident the highly volatile ‘conventional’ explosive could be set off, causing accompanying warheads to ‘jet’ plutonium. The MoD itself estimates in such a situation a circle some 600-yards in radius would be affected by such a blast, and fragments of explosives — and alpha emitting plutonium and uranium particles down wind could be dispersed for miles. If ingested, these particles can cause cancer.

If such an incident occurred close to or in a heavily populated area, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to effectively evacuate the vicinity before potentially lethal material spread. There is no MoD guidance in the public domain on dealing with such an issue — or whether and how traffic would be quarantined or locked in a contaminated zone.

[…]

For instance, annual reports from the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), had repeatedly warned of the dangers blighting the project, including spending reductions, engineer shortages shortages and accidents, since their institution in 2006 — but in 2017, the Ministry opted to classify them, on the basis of “national security”

Read more at Convoy of Death: Nuclear Weapon Transport Accidents Hit Record Highs in the UK

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