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.
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.
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.