Today in his first question to the Prime Minister at Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs), Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport asked the PM to recycle the 20 retired nuclear submarines in Plymouth and Rosyth dockyard.
The Labour MP’s question follows the launch of his recent cross-party campaign with Conservative and Scottish National Party MPs from Rosyth and Copeland, calling forGovernment to fund a plan to recycle all of the nation’s old nuclear submarines currently tied up in Devonport and Rosyth.
Every old submarine the Royal Navy has ever used from the 1950s, we still have. There are 13 in Devonport and 7 in Rosyth. With more submarines to exit service in the early 2020s, room is running out. The campaign argues that the same principles and funding to clearn up the UK’s civil nuclear power stations should be used for our Royal Navy nuclear submarines. The Labour MP has pointed out a proper dismantling and recycling programme would create a number of jobs in Devonport dockyard.
Luke Pollard MP said at PMQs:
“The Prime Minister will know that every nuclear submarine the Royal Navy has ever had, we still have.
There are 13 old nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport. 7 in Rosyth and little room for the ones coming out of service soon.
Will the Prime Minister agree to meet with the Members for Copeland, Rosyth and me who wrote to her a fortnight ago to discuss how we can extend civil nuclear decommissioning to recycle these old nuclear submarines creating jobs in Plymouth, Scotland and West Cumbria?”
The Prime Minister responded by saying:
“We take this issue he has raised of safe storage and disposal of nuclear submarines very seriously. There is capacity for safely storing all remaining Trafalgar class submarines at Devonport following their decommissioning and work has started on dismantling the submarine HMS Swiftsure with over 50 tonnes of radioactive waste removed by end of May. I know he and other Members have written to me, I will respond in due course and ask relevant Minister to meet with him to discuss this further.”
“Plymouth cannot have an indefinite responsibility to store these old nuclear submarines. We need a properly funded plan to recycle these old subs. This issue has been ignored by the government of all colours for over 50 years. When I was elected I said I wanted to find a solution. I’ve pitched an idea to theMinister to use the principles and funding from civil nuclear clean up. It’s a good idea. I will keep campaigning until a plan is in place.”