The government has revealed which of the nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport will be the first to be recycled, after a campaign by Luke.
Britain still has every nuclear submarine it has ever had, all the way back to the HMS Dreadnought launched in 1960. The last of these submarines was decommissioned more than 40 years ago, being left in dockyards in Rosyth and Devonport, at a cost of £30 million a year to the taxpayer.
After a sustained campaign, there is finally confirmation on which of the 13 nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport will be the first to be recycled, with the government naming HMS Valiant for this.
There is still no indication from the government of timescale, despite being asked by Luke to outline when this will be.
“As the son of a submariner I know how important the Royal Navy are and how vital our submarines are to our defence. It is a scandal that every nuclear submarine we have ever had, we still have. That is why I started the campaign to recycle these old submarines.
“Devonport has a vibrant future and that is why we need the valuable dock space being taken up as a submarine graveyard to be used more productively.
My campaign to recycle these submarines will continue until every last one of these old subs has been safely and securely recycled. I am pleased that we have confirmation for which of these will be the first to be recycled, but we still need to see a concrete plan for when they will all be recycled.”
There are still questions about the plans for the recycling of the three remaining Trafalgar-class submarines that are coming out of service in the next decade. Indeed, there are currently no plans even to provide space to store the four Vanguard-class nuclear bombers when they are replaced in the mid-2030s.
The sixth and most recent HMS Valiant was the second of Britain’s nuclear-powered submarines, and the first of the two submarine Valiant-class. She was ordered on 31 August 1960, laid down 22 January 1962, launched on 3 December 1963 and finally entered service 18 July 1966. She was decommissioned from active service in 1994, when Luke was just 14 years old. HMS Valiant took part in the Falklands conflict which we mark the 40th anniversary of this year. Luke is chairing the Falkland 40 anniversary group helping co-ordinate events in Plymouth.