Britain's Non-Secured Nuclear Arsenal Could Pose A Threat To The World
May 19, 2014 • 9:28AM

British Ministry of Defense's (MoD) recently released figures indicate safety of Britain's nuclear weapons and ammunition has been highly compromised by severe and worsening shortage of skilled nuclear engineers. Official figures released by the MoD reveal that one in 10 nuclear safety posts -- both civilian and military -- are vacant. The MoD's own safety watchdog has warned that the staffing crisis poses "a significant threat to the safe delivery of the defense nuclear program."

The report pointed out that there was an aging demographic issue because nuclear engineers were approaching retirement and not enough were being recruited and trained in their place. There was also increasing competition from the civil nuclear power industry, which is seeking to expand in England and Wales, it said. Staff shortages were also highlighted in a heavily censored 2009 "risk register" released by the MoD under freedom of information law. John Large, an independent nuclear engineer who has advised governments, argued the latest MoD figures underestimated the seriousness of the staff shortages.

Responding to the report, MP Angus Robertson told the Sunday Herald that "this is extremely dangerous and unsustainable, and lays bare the reality of the risks of the shambolic MoD cuts agenda." "The MoD must immediately explain what it is doing to rectify this and when," Robertson said.

Robertson was told by the UK Defense Equipment and Personnel Minister, Philip Dunne, that the MoD was short of 165 suitably qualified and experienced nuclear personnel on March 31, 2014. Some 60 of those vacancies relate to nuclear submarine activities, and 26 vacancies are at the Faslane and Coulport nuclear bases in Argyll.