Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to a letter from the defence minister published in The Ferret today that has revealed 505 safety incidents at the Faslane naval base in the last 12 years.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“When the MoD took the decision to censor annual nuclear safety reports which had previously been made public, we feared that safety at Faslane was worsening.

“While we welcome a return to a degree of transparency, the figures in the defence minister’s letter confirm our fears, revealing a catalogue of accidents in the last three years. Many of these incidents involved the Trident submarines which carry Britain’s nuclear weapons.

“The incidents add to the dire warnings in September’s Public Accounts Committee report which revealed serious infrastructure problems, including huge delays and overspending.

“We hope to see a return to annual reports of the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator being made available to the public and more transparency in general. This information is a requirement in a functioning democracy.

“It was disgraceful to discover last year that the government had covered-up a failed Trident missile test and this crucial information was held back while MPs were deciding on the future of Trident during a Parliamentary vote in 2016.”