Scotland Wants U.K. Apology for Lack of Notice on Nuclear-Reactor Leak

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
March 10, 2014, 9:14 a.m.

The Scot­tish gov­ern­ment is de­mand­ing an apo­logy from Lon­don for a lack of no­ti­fic­a­tion about a ra­di­ation leak at a nuc­le­ar re­act­or based in Scot­land.

Scot­tish First Min­is­ter Alex Sal­mond said U.K. Prime Min­is­ter Dav­id Camer­on should apo­lo­gize for not no­ti­fy­ing the Scot­tish par­lia­ment in 2012 when the emis­sion was dis­covered at a test re­act­or housed at Doun­reay in Scot­land, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Sunday.

“You must now of­fer an im­me­di­ate ex­plan­a­tion of why your gov­ern­ment al­lowed this to hap­pen, an apo­logy for the dis­reg­ard of es­tab­lished pro­cesses and a com­mit­ment that it will nev­er hap­pen again,” Sal­mond said.

The latest im­broglio over Brit­ish nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies in Scot­land comes as Sal­mond’s Scot­tish Na­tion­al Party, gov­ern­ing in Ed­in­burgh, seeks to con­vince Scot­tish voters to ap­prove a ref­er­en­dum for in­de­pend­ence, sched­uled to take place in Septem­ber. The Scot­tish Na­tion­al Party has vowed to or­der U.K. nuc­le­ar-armed Tri­dent bal­list­ic-mis­sile sub­mar­ines ex­pelled from Scot­land if it at­tains a “yes” vote.

Brit­ish De­fense Sec­ret­ary Philip Ham­mond on Thursday said ra­di­ation was found in the cool­ing wa­ter sur­round­ing the Doun­reay re­act­or — the same type as those used to power U.K. nuc­le­ar sub­mar­ines. He said the leak was not a safety risk and that atom­ic reg­u­lat­ors and Scot­tish en­vir­on­ment­al of­fi­cials were made aware of the in­cid­ent when it happened.

The Scot­tish En­vir­on­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency in a state­ment said it did not dis­close the leak be­cause the De­fense Min­istry had re­ques­ted the in­form­a­tion be kept “on a strict need-to-know basis for se­cur­ity reas­ons.”

Scot­land’s gov­ern­ment now is say­ing it would or­der all atom­ic-powered sub­mar­ines out of Scot­land — not just nuc­le­ar-armed, bal­list­ic-mis­sile ves­sels — in the event of in­de­pend­ence, the Scot­tish Her­ald re­por­ted on Sunday.

“We do not see the con­tin­ued basing of the As­tute or Tra­fal­gar fleets at Faslane, bey­ond the ne­ces­sary trans­ition peri­od, to be in Scot­land’s in­terests,” a gov­ern­ment spokes­wo­man told the news­pa­per.

The United King­dom in the com­ing dec­ades an­ti­cip­ates a fleet of 14 atom­ic-powered sub­mar­ines: four bal­list­ic-mis­sile sub­mar­ines, three Tra­fal­gar-class ves­sels and sev­en new As­tute-class sub­mar­ines.

What We're Following See More »
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Travel Ban
11 hours ago

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals "has upheld the nationwide block of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. ... It upholds the suspension of a revised version of the executive order that the Trump administration crafted to better hold up to legal scrutiny than an earlier version."

Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
11 hours ago
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
14 hours ago
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
16 hours ago

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
2 days ago

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.