• STV
  • MySTV

Vulcan nuclear test site to close

UK Government confirms no future use foreseen for Caithness submarine powerplant facility after 2015.

Submarine: Site was used to test reactors for over 40 years.
© STV

A nuclear propulsion test site in Caithness is to be closed down after its £360m contract with the MoD ends, the UK Government has confirmed.

Junior Defence Ministry Peter Luff sounded the death knell for the Vulcan plant in a written statement that said no future use is foreseen for the facility, which was used to test submarine powerplants for over 40 years.

A review has concluded that the UK’s future nuclear submarine fleet will not require a shore-based reactor to test and trial the propulsion systems deployed by the vessels.

Mr Luff said it has still to be decided whether Vulcan will be put in care-and-maintenance after 2015 or go in to full decommissioning mode.

In either case, there would be major cuts in the 265-strong permanent workforce, employed by contractors Rolls Royce, and in the work local contractors currently get at the site.

Mr Luff made clear that from 2015 Vulcan would have no role in the servicing of the fleet, which would be powered by a new-generation of pressurised water reactor.

Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Rob Gibson said that, while widely expected, the announcement is a further major blow to the far north economy.

Mr Gibson said he will be pressing the UK Government to take early action to secure alternative work.

He said: “They cannot be allowed to walk away from this site, which has a skilled workforce and a long track record for excellent work.

“If it is closed down, we’d expect that, unlike Dounreay, there is proper investment put in to replace the jobs which are lost.”

On a brighter note, he welcomed the recent pledge by Rolls Royce to retain a base in the far north after the end of its contract for Vulcan.

Mr Gibson believes the company is keen to exploit new opportunities due to come on stream from renewable energy developments in the area.

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. This must be at least 6 characters long. 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
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

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.