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It's official – risk of nuclear disaster at Faslane
Scottish CND has succeeded in obtaining copies of two risk assessments on the dangers incurred if there should be a major accident involving a Trident submarine in the shiplift at the submarine base at Faslane.
The reports, undertaken by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), date from 2000 and were requested by CND in 2007. Figures have probably been “redacted” (removed) from the documents. One of the reports contains diagrams illustrating sequences of events which could lead to a missile detonation or a missile take-off as the result of a shiplift accident.
For example, if a submarine rolled or had a side impact, a warhead could become detached and impact against the missile, leading to a detonation. The modelling in the reports only considers the dispersal of plutonium, omitting the effects of dispersing nuclear materials from the reactor at Faslane.
However, the reports do refer to the reactor and scenarios where its primary containment could be breached. These include potential air crashes, missile detonations, or torpedo accidents which would result in the dispersal of the entire contents of the reactor in a short period of time. The likelihood of these deadly scenarios taking place is not clear from the reports.
Info: Scottish CND www.banthebomb.org