The cost of UK programmes to replace Trident and nuclear submarines on the Clyde increased by over £1 billion in a year, according to data released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The construction of new reactor cores, replacement submarines and major new facilities at the Faslane and Coulport bases in Argyll are also facing prolonged delays, with growing doubts over whether some projects can be successfully delivered.
Most of the delays are unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic. Four major nuclear projects have been officially rated as “amber” or worse, meaning that they have “significant issues”. Two have been “re-baselined” by the MoD, meaning that costs have risen significantly and timescales lengthened.
Disarmament verification research at AWE Aldermaston: what it is, why it’s there and what’s next. Read an overview of this important but low-profile work, Nuclear Information Service 30th July 2020: https://bit.ly/3fUFATU
The UK has been lobbying the US Congress in support of NATO as a nuclear alliance.. A letter from Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, seen by the Guardian, urged Congress to support initial spending on the warhead, the W93. The letter, sent in April but not previously reported, draws the UK into a US political debate, pitting the Trump administration against many Democrats and arms control groups over whether the $14bn W93 programme is necessary. The US navy already has two warheads to choose from for its submarine-launched Trident missiles. The close cooperation on the W93 casts further doubt on the genuine independence of the UK deterrent – parliament first heard about it when US officials accidentally disclosed Britain’s involvement in February – and the commitment of both countries to disarmament.
Guardian 1st Aug 2020 https://bit.ly/3gVEjxj