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Devonport Dockyard

Volume 501: debated on Thursday 26 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Devonport dockyards have been issued with the relevant safety certificates to receive the Trident submarines for refuelling. (302003)

Devonport Dockyard holds the documentation that is necessary to allow the Vanguard class submarines to be received for refuelling. The documentation consists of a suite of safety cases which covers all aspects of Vanguard submarine operations, including berthing, movements and refuelling. These safety cases are required for Devonport Dockyard to maintain its site licence under the Nuclear Installation Act (1965).

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of Devonport dockyard's capability to meet the refuelling requirements of the Trident submarines. (302004)

Devonport Dockyard is fully capable of meeting the nuclear refuelling requirements of the Vanguard class submarines. The most recent assessment of this capability was completed on 7 October 2009.

This assessment included a review of the equipment, procedures and personnel required to undertake the refuelling of HMS Vigilant. Such assessments are undertaken before each refuelling of the Vanguard class.

Devonport Dockyard is a licensed site under the Nuclear Installations Act (1965). This licence is granted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and approved by the MOD Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). Operations at Devonport Dockyard are carried out in accordance with site licence conditions and the facility safety case.