Jun 142012

This is the second article produced by Aberdeen and District CND on the economics of the UK nuclear deterrent system Trident. This article relates to the economics of the Scottish situation last week’s article looked at the wider UK. We would recommend that you read both articles. With Thanks to Jonathan Russell.

The STUC/CND report of 2007 demonstrated the inaccuracy of claims that upwards of 11,000 jobs would be lost to Scotland if Trident was not replaced. It found that the loss of Jobs would be (only) 1,800.
In a recent article in the Scottish CND Magazine John Ainslie has said that there are less than 500 civilian jobs in Faslane and Coulport which are directly involved in supporting the Trident weapon system.

To put this in perspective, up until 2007 over 40, 00 Scottish Defence related jobs had been shed since 1990 without significant government intervention to ensure alternative employment.

  • At 2007 prices, of the then £1 billion annual procurement costs of Trident replacement, the annual cost to Scotland would have been £238 million,
  •  Combined costs of £85 million annual procurement, with £153 million a year share of existing and continuing costs of Trident.

A debate and vote on Trident took place in the Scottish Parliament in June 2007. In this debate the Scottish Parliament voted conclusively against the renewal of Trident, demonstrating the clear opposition of the Scottish people to the UK government’s course of action. Following on from this, the Scottish Government set up a working group on Scotland without Nuclear weapons.

The working party had the following to say on the economic effects of not renewing Trident.

 “The UK government has made significant investment over the years in upgrading the facilities at HMNB Clyde, including £300 million in the past two years and has announced that HMNB Clyde can have a continuing role as a strategic naval facility for conventionally armed naval forces, to take advantage of significant assets already in place and the UK  governments maritime change programme offers the opportunity in the long run for stability of employment, without nuclear weapons at HMNB Clyde.”

The effect of expenditure on Trident replacement on Scottish budgets, in the context of future Comprehensive Spending Reviews, will have a negative impact on public expenditure in Scotland with a corresponding effect on jobs: the STUC/CND investigation estimated that replacing Trident could cost Scotland 3,000 jobs.

The working group considered that a planned programme of defence diversion adequately resourced, could ensure that an equivalent or greater number of jobs can be created in the local economy.

The more recent BASIC commission report by Professor Keith Hartley points out that though Glasgow is an area of high unemployment it is part of the wider Clyde economy where there are alternative job prospects. Staff and facilities are in the main transferrable however some staff and facilities are so highly specialised that they can only be used for submarine work.

  Global climate change is emerging as a major future security challenge

Aberdeen has 12 firms that would be affected by the replacement of Trident. With an average spend of just under two million on each firm involved in Scotland this would affect the Aberdeen economy.

Government would require appropriate policies to adjust to these changes. It must be remembered that spending in other ways would lead to more jobs .

Choices have to be made about what it is best to spend public money on.

  • For many the cry would be that money is better spent on saving some of our health, education and welfare services from at least some of the cuts that are planned;
  • Others would say that these finances would be better spent on keeping our conventional military resources
  •  Others would say our spending should go on overseas aid.
  •  Other Capital expenditure in transport, green technology or housing infrastructure would be a far more effective way of invigorating the economy than spending our increasingly reduced public spending on nuclear weapons.

Of course firms like BAE systems and Babcock’s would argue differently. We would argue that this money, however it is spent; it should not be on the renewal of Trident.  Further the priority should not be on military spending unless aimed at developing our role in peace keeping.

On another front we would question our priorities; Global climate change is emerging as a major future security challenge.

  • Expenditure on nuclear weapons could consume resources that might otherwise be used in the fight against climate change;
  • Climate change is one of the drivers which will influence the long term affordability of nuclear weapons.
  •  If we re-invest the money that is to be spent on Trident we could make the UK/SCOTLAND a worldwide leader in wave and tidal power technology and create hundreds of jobs, more than compensating for the jobs lost by cancelling Trident.
  •  This in turn would help re-build our economy, which in turn, would help protect our public services. A win-win-win solution!

The credit crunch and global economic meltdown has compounded pressure on the affordability of Britain’s Nuclear weapons.

The time is ripe to stop the replacement of Trident and it would be one significant step in getting rid of Nuclear Weapons worldwide; it could further help us start concentrating on the real problems we face, both at a UK/SCOTTISH and world level.

Aberdeen and District CND have monthly meetings at 7.30pm on the second Monday of each month held on the top floor of the Belmont Cinema, Belmont Street, Aberdeen.


Jun 072012

This week we examine the UKdimension of the Economics of the UK’s nuclear deterrent Trident,  and next week we will look at  Scottish dimension.  This is one of a series of articles being produced by Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). You can read further articles in both past and future editions of Aberdeen Voice.  With thanks to Jonathan Russell.

Given the global recession and the United Kingdom’s huge debt crisis, a major area of concern is whether, in a time of massive cuts, Trident should be a priority of our public spending.
The estimated lifetime cost of more than £80 billion to replace Trident will have a significant effect on other public spending and, if the experience of such replacements replicates what has happened in the United States, costs could be more than double that amount.

A recent BASIC Trident Commission report has stated that the non-replacement of Trident could produce substantial cost savings of up to £83.5 billion over the period 2016 – 2062.

The Ministry of Defence faces cuts of up to £74 billion over the next ten years and a £36 billion deficit on projected capital programmes.  On top of this, there will be a bill exceeding £20 billion for the capital costs of Trident replacement over, more or less, the same period.

In April, 2010, under the heading The UK does not need a nuclear deterrent, Lord Bramall, the former Chief of Defence Field Marshall, challenged the wisdom of replacing Trident in the following letter to the Times:

“It is of deep concern that the question of Trident replacement is at present excluded from this process (the Strategic Defence Review).  With an estimated cost of more than £80 billion, replacing Trident will be one of the most expensive programmes that this country has seen.  Going ahead will clearly have long-term consequences for the military and defence equipment budget that needs to be carefully examined.

“Given the present economic environment in which the defence budget faces the prospect of worrying cuts and that we have already an estimated hole in the defence equipment budget of some £35 billion, it is crucial that a review is fully costed.”

He also added that the option of nuclear disarmament needs to be carefully evaluated as:

  • both the running costs and the disposal of nuclear waste costs are often ignored when discussions take place about the costs of replacing Trident
  • the £20 billion capital costs were a considerable underestimate and
  • the running costs went up from £1 billion in 2006 to £3.1 billion in 2010.

The £80 billion cited by Lord Bramall included the running costs of the present and successive programmes and the disposal costs of nuclear waste.

UK CND point out that £3.1 billion a year would pay for approximately 31,000 houses and create employment directly in construction and through the supply chain, for 62,000 people.  Given the UK housing shortage, this would be a win-win situation resulting in both growth in the economy and the provision of much needed social housing.

The vulnerability of employment loss UK wide would be most acute in Barrow-in-Furness and, to a lesser extent in Aldermaston and Burchfield.
Professor Keith Hartley, in the recent BASIC report, analyses the impacts arising from possible options and concludes that, if the government decided to cancel the Trident programme, the UK would be looking at job losses of around 9,200 after 2025 and the loss of 21,700 jobs in 2052.

The latter losses are linked to Astute-class submarines and would allow plenty of time for future governments to intervene in particular exposed local economies like Barrow on Furness.  It should also be remembered that submarine manufacture is particularly capital intensive, so more alternative jobs could be created with the same investment.

Trident is there for defence purposes – it is not the best means of creating employment – and, unlike other UK defence industries, it provides no obvious long term benefits in the form of exports, or extensive technology spin-offs to other products or to the rest of the economy.

Job losses should also be put in proportion: between 1990 and 1995 employment in the Barrow shipyards fell from 14,250 to 5,800, a much greater figure than the possible job losses if Trident was cancelled.  The state of the economy and labour markets, including local labour markets at the time, would also affect the economic impact of the cancellation of Trident

In line with the TUC’s 2009 support for Just Transition towards a fuel-efficient green economy, government funded programmes, such as those operated in the United States under the Base Realignment Closure programme, should be adopted now.

The scientific, design and technical skills concentrated in Barrow were identified by the International Energy Agency as having the potential to be used for the development of new technological niches in the efficient production of marine and sub-sea energy.

Next week’s article will deal with the Scottish dimension of the Economics of the UK’S nuclear deterrent Trident

  • Aberdeen and District CND hold meetings at 7.30pm on the second Monday of each month on the top floor of the Belmont Cinema, Belmont Street Aberdeen
Mar 152012

For the third time in less than a year, Dons fans and players of a certain age will be wearing mourning clothes, literally or figuratively. David Innes reminisces on Jens Petersen, a man whose dedication to the Dons in the 1960s makes him truly worthy of legendary status among Reds followers.

It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the death of Jens Petersen, a stalwart servant of the mid and late 1960s whose brave battle against death ended in noble defeat on 8 March 2012.

This follows far too closely the deaths of Eddie Turnbull in April 2011 and Francis Munro in August last year.

Another one of the Reds family has gone, and it hurts.

For the many friends Jens made during his time at Pittodrie, the hurt is because they knew him, they appreciated his determination to succeed and the inspiring leadership that he offered, but most of all, the lasting friendship that they formed with someone who is unanimously regarded as one of the genuine good guys.

Among the fans who remember Jens, it hurts because we too have lost someone we looked up to, someone who played the game in its proper spirit and a man who took delight in meeting fans, taking an interest in them and making them feel that they, as much as the players, were all part of the same whole.

We have lost a hero.

Jens arrived in Aberdeen with fellow Danes, Jorgen Ravn and Leif Mortensen, all signed by Tommy Pearson in 1965, when Scottish clubs realised that Scandinavia was a new hunting ground for players of good quality who fitted into the Scottish style of play. Whilst Ravn and Mortensen left Pittodrie after a short while, Eddie Turnbull spotted that Jens had something special that would fit with the Turnbull football vision and not only kept him on at Pittodrie, but made him a key member of the first team.

In 1966, the jewel in the Reds’ crown was Dave Smith. His performances in midfield and in the curious “sweeper” role that Eddie Turnbull introduced meant that he was an attraction for bigger, more predatory teams. I recall, to a background of Yellow Submarine, the news coming through in August 1966 that our star had signed for Rangers and that the Dons were £45000 better off.

The money was unimportant; we had lost our most influential player. How, the devastated 9 year old me worried, could we go on without Dave Smith? Eddie Turnbull had a cunning plan: Jens Petersen.

What the Boss had seen in Jens was someone who could naturally play the role that Smith had made his own, a man possessed of an unflappable temperament, comfortable with the ball at his feet in defence or midfield, an athlete, excellent in the air and with an ability to break from defence with the ball, striking panic into the opposition, a sight to behold.

US sports fans were amazed that the players did not wear body armour

The statistics tell us that Jens Petersen made 203 appearances for Aberdeen and scored 11 goals.

These are merely numbers. Influence and dynamism cannot be enumerated.

It’s a long time ago, but I can still remember his late spectacular goal against Morton to put us into the League Cup semi-final in 1966, my uncle’s surprised comment, “Look, the Dane’s wearin’ san’sheen”, when Jens decided that a frosty pitch later that season needed alternative footwear, and his ill-luck in the 1967 Cup final where his shot into an open goal was miraculously saved by Celtic’s Ronnie Simpson’s sliding clearance from the goal line.

When Jens left the Dons in 1970, his number 6 shirt was bequeathed to Martin Buchan. That illustrates the level of talent at which he operated.

My own contact with Jens was limited to a couple of phone conversations about the 1967 Washington Whips. Chalky Whyte gave me Jens’s number and encouraged me to call him in Denmark. He answered in Danish. I said, “Hello, I’ve been given your number by Jim Whyte”. Jens’s response (and that of his wife Dora when I called on another occasion) was that he was delighted to speak to me, but before he spoke about the USA in 1967, how were his friends at Pittodrie?

My lasting memory of the discussion was that he was asked by a US interviewer, “Petersen, have you ever burst a ball with your head?” and that US sports fans were amazed that the players did not wear body armour. His English, and Dora’s, was better than mine and he was a joy to interview.

Chalky, Ally Shewan and Ian Taylor have often spoken to me about the friendship they maintained with their great pal Jens and their memories and anecdotes will help ease some of the hurt that these guys and their colleagues are feeling.

Jens was only just 70 when he died, which is no age at all these days, and he was an outstanding athlete, still running marathons into his 60s.

The Northern Lights are significantly dimmer with his departure.

Image Credit: Aberdeen Voice is grateful to Aberdeen Football Club for use of Photographs. 

Jan 272012

Dave Watt writes: A recent study revealed that the US Navy is known to have experienced at least 380 major nuclear weapons incidents, but the details are not known, as most of these occurred at sea.  The following story is based on an imaginary event with a British nuclear submarine close to land. The sequence and severity of the event was produced by a random number generator, although the post event weather came from the Meteoprog weather archive.


“In 40 years we have never had an accident”  Commander Eric Thompson, Faslane 2009

“MOD admits to 16 nuclear submarine crashes”  Sunday Herald, 7 Nov 2010

“We will always get advanced warning if something was to go wrong”  Alan Moore, MOD spokesperson

30th April 1992. MOD fails to inform Plymouth Council of a serious fire on a nuclear submarine in the port. “It was a bureaucratic mess up”.  Captain David Hall, Chief Staff Officer (Nuclear) at Devonport

Potassium iodate tablets, for use in the prevention of thyroid cancer in the event of radiation leaks have been issued to 17 schools and 17,500 households around Devonport. No potassium iodate tablets have been issued to any schools or households around Faslane.

“I should imagine that two or three independent Highland companies might be of use; they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and it will be no great mischief if they fall”  General James Wolfe (1727-1759)

Detailed reports on nuclear submarine accidents are routinely destroyed after only 10 years. “This may explain why they keep repeating the same mistakes”  John Ainslie, Scottish CND

While the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl was in progress, rainfall in Govan, Glasgow was found to have a radioactive content.

Monday January 2012: Faslane Submarine Base, Holy Loch, Scotland.

2:16pm It is a dull and overcast winter day over the grey waters of the loch. HMS Astute, Royal Navy Vanguard Class Nuclear submarine, is beside the quay after a six-week voyage.

Stores are being loaded on board the vessel and test runs of the engine and electronic systems are underway. Submarine support vessel HMS Forth is also preparing to land alongside the quay and is reverse-manoeuvring beside HMS Astute.

Approximately 2:17pm HMS Forth appears to encounter some control difficulties as her turn towards the jetty has her stern facing the rear of HMS Astute’s hull at an acute angle. A furious spray of foam and gushing water came from under HMS Forth’s counter and she suddenly speeds up in the last few seconds heading straight for Astute. Her ship’s siren alarm blares a loud warning and is still blaring as her stern crashes into Astute’s pressure hull driving it into the jetty, crushing plates and fracturing welds as Forth‘s rudder is mangled while her thrashing screws bite into the Astute’s hull. The scream of wrenched and tearing metal overcomes even the howling siren. The day has started to go horribly wrong.

2:19pm. By the time personnel from the nearby administrative buildings have reached the quayside and a rescue launch has arrived at the scene of the incident, it is obvious to onlookers that both vessels are severely damaged. Astute is settling visibly by the stern.

2:21pm There is a small explosion within HMS Astute’s hull and smoke is now coming out of the rear deck hatches.

2:24pm The base rescue services can be heard in the distance and the base’s general alarm joins Astute’s alarm and HMS Forth’s wailing siren.

2:29pm The seriousness of the event becomes even more apparent as the crew of Astute can be seen hurriedly evacuating the boat whilst base rescue crews are donning full Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) kits with respirators. Several figures on stretchers are carried from the sub’s forward hatches by the NBC-suited figures and smoke is now issuing from the conning tower. Firefighting and rescue personnel disappear into the hull of the sub and after a few moments Astute’s alarm stops. HMS Forth’s crew are being evacuated by the rescue launch and her own boats as her siren is also switched off. With the sudden deadening of the two ship’s sirens and only the distant whoop of the base alarm, it seems to onlookers that the situation has begun to stabilise. Fire and rescue crews disappear and reappear from the hull of Astute although the smoke remains as thick as before.

2:43pm The assumption that the situation has stabilised is found to be very optimistic as there is another crashing sound on board and the stern of Astute is seen to lurch, then settle further into the water. The hull is now lying at something like 15-20 degrees from the horizontal.

2:46pm Firefighter and rescue control are shouting to the crews on the sub and there is a movement of figures out from the rear hatches in Astute. A rescue Land Rover on the jetty speeds off towards the centre of the base. A few minutes later, the base general alarm stops and there is a sudden quiet broken only by shouts from the fire and rescue teams emerging from the forward and conning tower hatches.  A firefighter rushes towards a rear hatch, but a gout of flame from it drives him back. He tries to get to the hatch several times, but each time the smoke and flames force him back to the conning tower.

2:54pm The comparative silence of the last few moments is suddenly broken by a new sound coming from the base centre – a loud, ululating howl that very few have ever heard before and then only as an exercise simulation. It is the base evacuation warning. It is joined by several loudspeaker vehicles driving around the base advising that this is not a drill and that the base must be evacuated at once. Ships and small craft immediately start to get steam up preparing to leave the base.

3:02pm A general warning of a possible radiation leak is issued to towns surrounding the base, but it is a national holiday and responsible authorities are difficult to contact.

3:08pm Police units at Helensburgh, Greenock, Rhu, Cove and Kilcreggan are advised of a possible emergency whilst hospital and rescue services at Port Glasgow further up the Clyde are also alerted. At this point, all radio contact with rescue and firefighting crews still on board is lost. It is believed that the angle of the submarine’s hull increased further and fractures in the coolant pipes resulted in a wave of heat and radiation pouring up the length of the hull towards the bows from the out of control main engine.

3:17pm From subsequent conflicting testimonies of onlookers on the Mambeg Hill overlooking the base, it was stated there were either four or five minor explosions within the central hull of the now half submerged Astute. However many explosions were actually heard, the result is to prove only too disastrous. Several caps from the mid hull silos blow open and a gout of flame issues from one, whilst three Trident II missiles are launched into the air from three of the others.

The first flies erratically into the air for several hundred feet directly south south west at an angle of about 30 degrees and, twisting in flight, plunges into the loch about 700 metres away. It lands tail first in the shallows beside the shore and cracks open with a loud crash. There is no fire or explosion.

The second also takes off at around 30 degrees and continues a comparatively straight flight, directly south for around seven kilometres, whereupon the engine flames out and lands on the hillside to the north of Rosneath, with a tremendous explosion as the fuel ignites.

The third shoots into the air to a height of around 600 feet and then seems to stabilise. Unfortunately, it flies directly south south east towards Greenock. As it passes over the shallows of the estuary before the town, a close observer flying alongside would probably be dismayed to see the decoy missile deploy from its pod, flare suddenly and start to turn west away from the track of the onrushing Trident II.

This would, however, probably be the last thing the close observer would have seen, as at 3:17:43pm, the one kiloton warhead ignites, incinerating the decoy drone and exploding 600 feet above the main stand at Greenock’s Cappielow Park, where an SFL First Division game is in progress between the local club Morton and rivals Ayr United.

This is the third nuclear weapon in the world’s history to explode over an occupied town or city. 

In Greenock, it is the day after New Year and for some of the people it’s a chance to spend some money at the January sales. For a great many, however, the death of the once-famous Scottish shipbuilding industry on the Clyde and the generation of poverty that follows, means that their participation in the sales is mainly as onlookers. January 2 is also traditionally a day in Scotland for visiting friends and relations to celebrate the New Year. For some, the tradition is the New Year derby match and just over 1900 people are attending Cappielow as the Trident II goes off over the main stand.

Immediate impact

The 2010 census rates the population of Greenock as 43,495 citizens.

An area of complete destruction on the ground covers about 200 metres around the ignition point.

There are no survivors within this area. Around 3000 people are instantly vaporised by the fireball which is seen from the centre of Glasgow, roughly thirty miles to the east.

In a larger area, covering about a mile, with a population of around 7000 people, from Ground Zero, casualties range from almost 100% to around 50%.

Of these casualties a combination of wounds and burns runs at 5%.

Wounds and irradiation are suffered by another 5%.

Wounds individually account for 5%.

Burns individually account for 5%.

A combination of burns, wounds and irradiation covers a further 20%.

A combination of burns and irradiation accounts for 40%.

The remaining 20% are irradiated.

The first plus point of the tragedy is that both local hospitals, Inverclyde and Ravenscraig, are outwith the immediate blast area, although both have taken some structural damage. However, the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from the blast has stopped all electrical activity, which effectively means that both hospitals are going to have to try to deal with a huge and varied casualty list with facilities basically at Victorian medical levels.

There are also no moving vehicles or telephone communications within the EMP area, and people who would otherwise have survived will succumb to their wounds in the interim period. Roads will be blocked by rubble as rescue units are mobilised initially from Port Glasgow and Gourock and later from further afield. The housing and street lighting is out in the centre and east of the town and most of the rescue work will have to be done in complete darkness until sunrise at 8:46 the following morning.

In addition, there are thousands of minor blast injuries to people in Greenock and towards Port Glasgow which require treatment. The medical personnel around Glasgow and the Central Belt are about to encounter the kind of dreadful triage choices normally endured in a major war zone.

HMS Astute

On board the submarine, the stay-behind fire fighting crews have mainly been obliterated in the explosion which launched the Trident IIs. Before this however, the fire and rescue teams have been seriously irradiated by the radiation blasting the length of the sub as the nuclear coolant pipes ruptured. Many of these and other base personnel require decontamination and immediate hospitalisation in a situation similar to that following Chernobyl. Unfortunately, unlike the Soviet Union in the Cold War, very few civilian medical establishments around the base, or indeed in Britain, have the training or facilities to deal with decontamination of irradiated and physically-injured patients.


Radiation spilling from the sinking submarine, which duly sinks at her moorings just after 4:15 pm, is washed around the loch by successive tides, and into the River Clyde where the current washes it down past Kilgreggan and Dunoon and out to the islands by Rothesay and Millport by Wednesday morning. The entire mouth of the estuary displays dangerously-high radiation readings. Radiation has also spilled from the two Trident IIs which landed in the loch and on the hillside opposite the base. The behaviour of the cloud of irradiated smoke and debris issuing from HMS Astute, the crashed Trident IIs and what is effectively a ground burst at Greenock, is now entirely at the behest of the elements.

Weather post-Z hour.

At the moment of the blast, the wind is blowing from the south west between 7 and 8 mph. This continues until around midnight on 2 January. Helensburgh and Port Glasgow are affected almost immediately by the Greenock radioactive cloud, and casualties are very heavy there as they are in Garelochead, immediately to the north of the now-abandoned Faslane base.

Callander in Perthshire is luckier, as when the spreading radioactive cloud reached there in late evening on 2 January, the town had been almost completely evacuated. Equally luckily at midnight, the wind swings to blow from the south, and by 3am, light rain and sleet fall over the West of Scotland for over four hours reducing the cloud but irradiating ponds, streams and woodlands, whilst the wind shifts still further to blow at 9 mph from the south east for several hours, threatening Oban.

Tuesday 4 January (Z-plus 2)  In the early morning of Tuesday, the wind, gusting and patchy, swings between south west and west yet again over Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe, and the dark streaky cloud up to around 15,000 feet becomes ragged, as the wind swings yet again from the north west to threaten the Central Belt. A light rain fell on the region in late afternoon with the 10 mph north-westerly wind moving to the west in early evening and causing the evacuation of Auchterarder, Gleneagles and Crieff, whilst Perth is on a two hour evacuation warning. Ignoring the reassuring broadcasts on TV and police loudspeaker cars, people in Glasgow are crowding the M8, moving to the east away from the city. As traffic jams build up, people are seen to be hiking along the motorway and abandoned cars add to the congestion. In the early hours of 4 January, the wind continues to carry the cloud to the west at between 7 and 10 mph, although a welcome rainstorm reduces the cloud further.

Wednesday 4 January (Z-plus 3) With the weather forecast stating that the wind is to continue westerly, the populations of Perth, Coupar Angus, Dundee, and latterly Arbroath and St Andrews, are evacuated towards Aberdeen and the Central Belt. This is mostly completed on time as the cloud, although down to about half of the original size, covers most of the Tay valley as heavy rain in the region has washed settling particles into the Tay and out towards the sea. By this time, Aberdeen and Edinburgh are both reporting slight radiation traces in rainfall. Reservoirs along the east coast are being checked hourly for radioactive content.

Thursday 5 January (Z-plus 4) By early morning, the wind has dropped to 3 to 5 mph and the visible frontage of the cloud covering 8-10 miles is blowing offshore from the Dundee- Arbroath-Montrose coastline. By 3am there is light rain turning to sleet and snow for around four hours and the wind speeds upswinging to the north west for the rest of the day, with further light snow by late afternoon pushing the remnants of the cloud further out to sea.

Friday 6 January (Z-plus 5) Today sees the cloud dissipating further, with southerly and south westerly light breezes blowing it down towards the central North Sea where further light rain fell over the late afternoon/early evening.

Saturday 7 January (Z-plus 6) Intermittent rain and sleet and a gusting westerly breeze sees the visible diminishing cloud over the central North Sea. Despite this, the Angus,Fife, Fergus and Rolf platforms are evacuated. Berwick is reporting slight radiation traces in the rainwater.

Sunday 8 January (Z-plus 7) Gusting breezes and intermittent rain at 6 to 10 mph continue to vary between west and north west. Several platforms in the Danish sector of the central North Sea are evacuated.

Monday 9 January (Z-plus 8) Mid-morning -Esbjerg and Ringkobing on the Danish coast are reporting slight radiation traces in rain water.


Jan 062012

With thanks to Dave Watt.

There have been twenty-three acknowledged serious nuclear accidents to befall the worlds U.S. and Soviet nuclear forces.

There have been 16 crashes involving British nuclear submarines since 1998.

Despite this there appears to be a certain amount of complacency as regards the nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch on the Clyde.

The ex-Armed Forces Minister Dr John Reid said in letters to MPs:

“It is planned that potassium iodate tablets would be distributed before any release of radioactive material had occurred at a time determined by monitoring the condition of the reactor”.

“We will always get advanced warning if something was to go wrong” – Andy Moore MoD

“There has never been an accident involving a nuclear powered submarine reactor which has led to, or come anywhere near leading to, any release of radioactive contamination to the environment” – Dr John Reid, ex-Armed Forces Minister

Aberdeen CND presents :

A Nuclear Incident on the Clyde – 2nd Jan 2012 

MONDAY 9th January-  7.30 p.m. 

Belmont Picture House, Belmont St, Aberdeen

  Image credit © Rhouck | Dreamstime.com

Oct 292010

By Dave Watt.

The Royal Navy’s newest and largest attack submarine HMS Astute has run aground off Skye, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

Despite a Ministry of Defence assurance that the crew were ‘highly trained to deal with extreme situations’ (but obviously not any situations that involve steering or map reading) the real shock came when it was announced that owing to the defence cuts HMS Astute was only insured for Third Party, Fire and Theft

This shock was exacerbated when the nuclear submarine was towed round the coast to Joe’s Shipyard in Torry for repairs. The shipyard owner, having made the traditional sucking in of breath with the equally traditional accompanying statement  “Hemen, ‘is’ll f****in’ cost ye. Fit f****in’ cowboy stuck ‘is plates in?” then pointed out that the submarine had apparently been in a crash previously and was in fact the halves of two old submarines welded together.