MP: N-sub scrap work should be given ‘informed consideration’ – 21 Oct 09

PLYMOUTH MP Linda Gilroy says the city should give “serious and informed consideration” to plans to dismantle nuclear submarines at Devonport Naval Base.

The Ministry of Defence announced it will host a meeting in Plymouth on Friday over the controversial Submarine Dismantling Project, which could see 27 submarines stored and cut up in Devonport over the next 60 years.

The announcement prompted vigorous opposition to the plan from council leader Vivien Pengelly and Conservative MP Gary Streeter, as reported in The Herald yesterday.

Mrs Gilroy called for “an open, transparent and informed consultation,” and said there was a need to understand more about the work involved.

She said: “Certainly if it is about securing more work for the highly skilled, high quality work force – the kind of which the Dockyard excels at – this could be welcome.”

But Mrs Gilroy said she wanted to know about any additional risks the project might bring to the city, and how it might fit in with Plymouth’s ambitions for growth in other sectors.

Mrs Gilroy added: “One thing I do know is that the surest way of driving work away from the dockyard is to make the Ministry of Defence and Babcock feel that Plymouth is not prepared to give serious and informed consideration to something related to one of the key sectors of its economy.”

The MoD says no decision has yet been made on where the project would take place, or where the radioactive waste would be stored before it is moved to a national storage centre in about 2040.

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