The communication around the nuclear false alarm today at Devonport was woeful, and I’ve written to the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace demanding an urgent review into what happened.
In addition to the routine morning test alarm, a second alarm was heard for several minutes this afternoon – incorrectly signalling that nuclear radiation was leaking from the naval base and dockyard. Unacceptably, it took some residents up to 90 minutes to be told that this was a false alarm, causing untold and unnecessary distress.
Equally concerning is that many local people were unable to hear the alarm at all, raising concerns about their welfare if a genuine nuclear incident was to occur.
This is not good enough. In the event of a radiation leak every second matters and in the event of a false alarm the priority must be to let people know it was a mistake quickly. The Ministry of Defence must overhaul its communications.