August 2013

An emergency exercise in September 2011 exposed serious weaknesses in Britain’s ability to cope with a catastrophic motorway pileup in which a nuclear bomb convoy burns and spreads a cloud of radioactive contamination over nearby communities.


An internal report from the Ministry of Defence, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that the emergency services faced “major difficulties” in responding to the mocked-up accident near Glasgow because they had no help from MoD weapons experts for more than five hours.


The response was disorganised, and disputes with ambulance staff over how to handle casualties contaminated with radioactivity caused “considerable delay“.


Other problems included outdated, paper-based communications systems, poor mobile phone signals, conflicting scientific advice on health hazards and confusion over radiation monitoring.


More information at