Leaky sub base criticised

28 April 2009

A UK nuclear submarine base has leaked liquid radioactive waste into the Gare Loch three times over the past six years, according to secret documents obtained by the UK's Channel 4 news.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and internal reports at the Faslane naval base in Scotland, blamed managerial weaknesses for the leaks. The military base is actually exempt from environmental protection rules on radiation.

Campbell Gemmell, chief executive of SEPA, said: "With a civilian operator we would have been having very robust conversations about prohibiting further action until we could see very clear demonstrations of systems and training that would prevent this ever happening again."

The Ministry of Defence said the discharges had "no measurable or quantifiable environmental consequence," and added that an improvement plan is underway.

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