Story So Far

1982 HMS Dreadnought (the first British nuclear powered submarine) laid up at Chatham dockyard.
1983 Dreadnought towed to Rosyth after closure of Chatham dockyard.
2000 Total of eleven nuclear powered submarines now laid up between Rosyth and Devonport. The MOD established Project ISOLUS (Interim Storage of Laid Up Submarines) to decide what to do with them until such time as a permanent repository might become available. Unprecedentedly, it announced it was going to consult publicly and openly all the way through the Project. Di McDonald joined its Front End Consultation Steering Group (FESG), as a member of the Nuclear Information Service. Formation of Nuclear Submarine Forum (NSubF) to draw together NGO’s views. The ‘Consultation Steering Group’ (CSG) was established as a sub-group of the Front-End Public Consultation Steering Group.
2001 Lancaster University’s Centre for the Study of Environmental Change conducted for the Project its “Front-End Public Consultation” (FEC). The FEC report was published in November 2001 and contained 65 recommendations
2003 MOD ran an Industry Day to sell ISOLUS project and ask for outline proposals on how to deal with the submarines promising multiple engagement methods and reaffirming public accountability and openness The second public consultation “Consultation into Outline Proposals” (CIOP) carried out by Lancaster University. Events held at all the sites proposed by contractors. Peter Lanyon took over as NSubF rep on the CSG
May 2004 CIOP report issued with 50 recommendations.
Feb 2005 Minister announced that no further work on sites would take place until The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) had reported in Summer 2006. CoRWM was tasked with recommending a way of managing all the ’s higher activity solid radioactive waste including that from the laid-up submarines. The MOD responded in detail to the CIOP report having consulted other government departments (OGDs), devolved administrations and Industry
July 2005 Consultation Steering Group closed in spite of serious reservations expressed by members.
Oct 2005 MOD ISOLUS Steering Group (MISG) was set up so that the MOD takes charge of the project. Peter Lanyon was now asked to represent NGOs on MISG by MOD.
July 2006 CoRWM recommended that the ’s high and intermediate nuclear waste should be dealt with by deep geological disposal and should be in robust interim stores until that was ready.
July 2007 Setting up of ISOLUS Advisory Group (IAG), to scrutinise and advise on anything the MISG did, especially in the way of public consultations. Peter Lanyon, Di McDonald, Jane Tallents and Ian Avent represent the NGO’s.
Summer 2008 Fraser Nash conducted Technical Options Study (TOS), with a Sub-Group of IAG, on three options for ISOLUS: Cutting out and storing the reactor compartments intact Cutting up the reactor compartments into large chunks and storing them Cutting up the reactor compartments into smaller chunks, including cutting up the reactor and storing them in Nirex boxes. (Report still not issued Oct 2009)
Nov 2008 MOD announced rebranding of ISOLUS as the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP), without IAG advice MOD ISOLUS Steering Group (MISG) renamed Submarine Dismantling Project Steering Group (SDP SG) ISOLUS Advisory Group renamed Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group (SDP AG)
March 2009 MOD announce SEA to be conducted summer 09 and public consultation autumn 09 on their choice of option and site
Green Issues Communications appointed as SDP conveners without IAG advise
June 2009 Consultation Sub-Group set up. Peter Lanyon representing NSubF
Sept 2009 Consultation Sub-Group told of postponement of planned Public Consultation.
Oct 2009

Advisory Group told that 2 potential sites had been identified for dismantling and 12 for potential waste storage

Local authorities for these offered presentations in preparation for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) statutory consultation process. Stories appear in the press.

June 2010

Government bodies consulted on scope of SEA

Feb 2011

SDP Technical Options Study Report published on SDP website