Transporting Nuclear Materials Across the UK

June 1, 2020 4:30 pm

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Most people do not realise it, but nuclear materials, including nuclear weapons are being moved around the country on a regular basis. There re many reasons for this, from removal of waste, to weapons maintenance. These are transported in highly secure loads, known as nuclear convoys. When it comes to transporting such dangerous materials, a huge amount of safety precautions are taken, from guards to using a security seal.

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It is important to make sure these materials do not fall into the wrong hands or cause any accidents. The nuclear materials can be transported by air and by rail as well as on the roads. Because Britain’s nuclear weapons that are in use are based at the Trident submarine base in Scotland, but the maintenance and disposal facilities are in England, it means that the materials sometimes need to be moved from one site to another.

Aldermaston in Berkshire is the Atomic Weapons Establishment, and it is here that the nuclear stockpile of the UK is refurbished and renovated, or securely decommissioned. The submarines themselves are refurbished at the Devonport naval base, near Plymouth.

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Although there have been many concerns about the movement of nuclear weapons from various political groups, including the CND and the SNP, the Ministry of Defence do assure the public that it is safe. There s not a lot of detail given by the Ministry of Defence on safety practises or routes and frequency that the nuclear convoys take place, because it worries that giving away too much information would cause a risk to national security.