Faslane: 20 workers exposed to radiation after safety breach

Contractors were repairing a Trident submarine when the incident happened.

Faslane: Incidents pose 'real and serious questions' (file pic).
Faslane: Incidents pose 'real and serious questions' (file pic). © STV

A safety breach saw 20 workers exposed to radiation at the Faslane naval base, newly released documents have revealed.

The workers were inadvertently exposed to a low dose of ionising radiation as they were repairing a leaking tank on a Trident nuclear weapons submarine at the same time a nearby reactor was undergoing trials.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said no one was harmed in the incident, which took place in August 2012.

Details were revealed in documents released to the campaign group Nuclear Information Service by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) under Freedom of Information legislation.

A report identified "poor communication" and "a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the hazards present when operating a reactor" as contributing factors.

"There was a prolonged and repeated failure of the ship's staff to understand and control the radiological hazard that they were creating", it said.

Other documents obtained by the group reveal that in April 2012 a training team was allowed to visit a submarine and enter a radiation exclusion zone without being issued with dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to ionising radiation.

In February 2013 a sailor working on a submarine at the base left it with a sponge bung without having it checked for contamination.

A forth incident in December 2013 involved a Babcock employee who removed some grills from an external tank and put his head inside, exposing himself to a small dose of radiation.

SNP defence spokesperson Brendan O'Hara MP said: "The MoD - once again - stands accused of a very poor approach to radiation safety at the Faslane base.

"When it comes to protecting our armed forces personnel, the contractors working at the base, as well as the wider community, nuclear safety must be paramount.

"These incidents and how they were subsequently handled, pose real and serious questions, not just about nuclear safety procedures at the base, but also whether the regulator the ONR is doing enough - and quickly enough - to address these concerns.

"The MoD must investigate and explain why these failings occur and lay out precisely what it is doing to get it sorted."

A MoD spokesman said: "Safety at Clyde naval base is of paramount importance and none of the events in this report caused harm to any member of staff or the public.

"Investigations were carried out and measures put in place to prevent such incidents from occurring again, and we continue to conduct rigorous monitoring as part of our commitment to maintain the highest standards."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.