500 signatures reached
To: The Scottish Government
Review preparations for dealing with a nuclear convoy accident
Conduct an honest and open review into how the civil authorities would respond to a nuclear weapons transport accident on a Scottish road, what risk assessments are made and how this has been communicated to the public.
Why is this important?
Nuclear warheads are regularly transported in convoys on public roads to and from the atomic weapon factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield, and RNAD Coulport on Loch Long, where the weapons are stored and loaded onto Trident submarines. A nuclear warhead contains radioactive material AND high explosive and this poses serious questions about public safety.
Nukewatch has published a report ‘Unready Scotland’ based on the very unsatisfactory answers to a survey of all the Local Authorities that these convoys pass through. The Civil Contingencies Act requires Category 1 Responders (including Local Authorities) to conduct a risk assessment of potential threats and to keep the public informed. It also makes the Scottish Government responsible for making sure that Local Authorities comply.
If there was a serious accident the Ministry of Defence would look after the nuclear weapon. Local Councils, Emergency Services and the Health Service would be responsible for potentially contaminated casualties, evacuating people nearby and advising many more to stay indoors. Nukewatch’s survey finds that many councils don’t know anything about these convoys. We want the Scottish Government to openly review how prepared the civil authorities are and inform the public about their findings. Then the people of Scotland can decide whether this transport poses an unacceptable risk.