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A National Audit Office investigation has found out that £1.35 billion has been wasted due to the Ministry of Defence’s poor management of nuclear-regulated sites, responsible for the UK’s nuclear weapons programme, including Trident replacement.

In a statement about the watchdog’s new report, the NAO said the “Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) poor management of three critical infrastructure projects on its nuclear-regulated sites has contributed to a combined cost increase of £1.35 billion and delays of between 1.7 and 6.3 years.”

The report itself says the “MoD should have learnt earlier from past mistakes” and that “the MoD’s failure to mitigate commercial and delivery risks early on has led to project delays and cost increases, as well as impacting its wider work.”

For the moment the cost overruns have been absorbed by a £10 billion contingency fund. But given the MoD is only three years into a 16-year development cycle for the new Trident submarines, the MoD could smash the £205 billion cost of replacement if the mismanagement continues.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “The bill for these billion pound overruns is ultimately borne by the whole of society. The £10 billion contingency fund that we’re currently burning through happens to be the same amount of money that charities say is needed to completely eradicate homelessness in Britain.

“Many will ask themselves why is it the government’s priority to waste billions on something that makes us less safe when we could be addressing a social crisis that has a solution and would prevent thousands from living in misery and hardship, saving many lives?”

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