A watchdog responsible for investigating the safety of Britain’s nuclear weapons system has been censored by the Ministry of Defence. Annual Trident safety ratings will no longer be published for MPs and members of the public to scrutinise.

The Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) monitors the safety of the refurbishment, transportation and storage of Trident nuclear warheads. It is also responsible for monitoring the operation of the Trident submarine fleet at the Faslane Naval Base in Scotland.

The watchdog will continue to produce annual safety ratings, but the MoD now thinks the information would impact national security if it were made public.

Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said:

“This bodes ill for the safety of the British public. The history of British nuclear weapons is a history of blunders and cover-ups. Only last year we discovered the government had covered up a very serious incident involving a misfired Trident missile just weeks before Parliament voted on replacing Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

“The DNSR reports that have already been published uncovered dozens of safety issues. This information has allowed campaigns such as ours to hold the government to account. Censoring the information will make this task considerably more difficult.

“This backward step also raises the question, why is the MoD censoring these reports now? Has the DNSR uncovered an even more serious incident that would further shatter public confidence in Trident?”