CND remains unsatisfied with the Ministry of Defence’s response to Trident whistle-blower Able Seaman McNeilly’s allegations, which include claims of negligent security practices and structural inadequacies in Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
Less than two weeks after the long list of safety failings was published, the government issued a short statement yesterday (Thursday May 29) concluding that ‘most of McNeilly’s concerns proved to be either factually incorrect or the result of mis- or partial understanding’. Minister Penny Mordaunt MP defended the government’s response in a debate later that day on Trident safety, called by the Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond MP.
While Mordaunt was also keen to refute McNeilly’s allegations, she said that further details of the investigation could not be made public for national security reasons.
CND’s General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
‘Looking back at confirmed safety and security incidents in relation to Britain’s nuclear weapons system, the MoD can forgive us for not feeling reassured with their short assessment of submariner McNeilly’s detailed claims.
‘Scottish CND has published a valuable reminder of known dangerous issues with our nuclear weapons system. There is a shortage of staff operating Trident, instances of on-board fires requiring external assistance and there’s even a confirmed incident of British and French nuclear submarines colliding.
‘While Trident is supposed to keep us safe, it is becoming more and more evident that instead it is a disaster waiting to happen. It is the inherent danger of operating nuclear weapons, as well as the astronomical cost of maintaining them, which is making an increasing number of the public call for the government to scrap Trident and cancel its replacement.’