Skip to main content


Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what environmental impact assessments (EIAs) his Department has undertaken of the (a) deployment, (b) infrastructure facilities required for maintenance and (c) facilities used for decommissioning redundant or replaced parts of the Trident nuclear weapons system; and whether these EIAs have been published. (105267)

The Ministry of Defence has undertaken a number of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in connection with the Trident nuclear weapons system. During the deployment of Vanguard Class submarines, EIAs are conducted whenever there is a requirement to do so, for example prior to the discharge of bilge water. Such EIAs are not published as to do so could enable deductions to be made on the operational location of the submarines and would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of the United Kingdom.

For the infrastructure facilities required to support the maintenance of the system, an EIA was undertaken for Faslane and Coulport entitled “Proposed Development at the Clyde Submarine Base (Faslane and Coulport) Environmental Impact Assessment”. This was published in May 1984. The MOD also lodged an EIA in support of the D154 Project in Devonport with Plymouth City Council in 1994. No EIAs have yet been completed in respect of decommissioned redundant submarines.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the time it would take to procure further Trident D5 missiles. (108974)

As set out in paragraph 2-5 of the recent White Paper, "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, (Cm 6994), we believe that no further procurement of Trident D5 missiles will be necessary. Copies of the White Paper are available in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the availability of (a) project management and (b) nuclear decommissioning expertise between (i) 2007 and 2012, (ii) 2013 and 2017 and (iii) 2018 and 2024 on projects related to Trident. (109486)

The Department aims to ensure that it has sufficient expert personnel to meet current and future nuclear programme demands through external recruitment, internal staff development and close involvement with industry. This includes those personnel required for the project management and nuclear decommissioning disciplines. The assessment of the likely demand for nuclear experts is undertaken in conjunction with the Nuclear Sector Skills Council who maintain an oversight of the issues surrounding the national requirement for staff with key nuclear skills, both civil and military. In addition, the MOD is represented at the Nuclear Employers Steering Group, which monitors trends at a national level to scope the likely future demand for staff.