Warnings after US journalist uncovers Trident design flaws


  By a Newsnet reporter  
Maintenance workers who load and unload Trident nuclear missiles at Faslane have been warned to be “very careful” by an American investigative journalist.
“I hope in Scotland that they’re very careful when they’re loading and unloading the missiles.” Eric Schlosser told Channel 4 presenter John Snow.

The American has found what he described as inherent design faults and safety flaws with the Trident nuclear weapons system.  In one incident in Damascus, Arkansas, in 1980, which the journalist said “could have incinerated the whole state”.

Commenting on the interview, Angus Robertson MP, SNP Westminster Leader and Defence Spokesperson, said:  

“Eric Schlosser’s chilling interview on Channel 4 News reinforces the huge concerns about Trident, and Westminster’s madcap plans to renew Trident and dump another generation of weapons of mass destruction on the River Clyde, near Scotland’s largest population centre.

“Mr Schlosser’s warnings are clear when he says: ‘The Trident missile system, which is the principal nuclear weapon that Great Britain has, has some safety issues that were revealed in a report to Congress more than 20 years ago – I hope in Scotland that they’re very careful when loading and unloading the missiles.’

“As well as being hugely expensive, immoral and aimed no-one really knows where – we also know that they have potential to be extremely dangerous at home. Westminster has based Trident on the Clyde, just thirty minutes from the centre of Scotland’s biggest city. Mr Schlosser has researched an alarming list of safety issues involving nuclear weapons – including design issues which have led to near catastrophic detonations, defective safety switches, and all this against a background of secrecy.

“The people and parliament of Scotland don’t want these weapons of mass destruction. Scotland’s elected representatives, the churches, trade unions and civic society have made it clear that we want rid of Trident.

“When Defence Secretary Philip Hammond made his third day trip ‘up’ to Scotland last week, he made it clear that renewing Trident was the defence priority for Westminster – at the same time as sacking serving personnel, closing bases and scaring Scots by telling us we are incapable of deciding our own defence priorities.

The truth is that a Yes vote next year will rid us of these dangerous weapons, and enable us to have a defence policy that matches our needs – not one that carries the risk of a potential nuclear accident on our own doorstep.”