24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 17:05

US firms bid to run Royal Navy nuclear site

Category: Scotland

Published: 31st Oct 2010 12:43:25

A group of private companies has bid to take over the running of the Royal Navy arms base at Coulport on the Clyde, where nuclear missiles are stored.

The consortium, led by the US defence contractors Lockheed Martin, said a decision was expected within months.

The MoD said the site would stay under its control and that the security of Britain's Trident missile nuclear deterrent would not be compromised.

But politicians and anti-nuclear campaigners are concerned by the move.

The Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) at Coulport, on the east side of Loch Long in Argyll, is part of HM Naval Base Clyde.

RNAD Coulport is eight miles from Faslane, the home to submarines fitted with Trident nuclear missiles.

Coulport is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of the Trident Weapon System and all ammunition for the base's submarine fleet.

The SNP's defence spokesman, Angus Robertson, said: "This is a highly questionable move by the UK government.

"The SNP opposition to the nuclear fleet is absolute, but as long as Trident and nuclear missiles remain on the Clyde I would resist privatisation particularly from companies outwith the country.

"Weapons of mass destruction are the most sensitive areas of military technology and should not be privatised."

The anti-nuclear group Scottish CND said it would give the United States "full control" over the UK's nuclear weapons.

Its co-ordinator John Ainslie said: "If this goes ahead, then the Royal Navy should lower the Union Jack which flutters above Loch Long and replace it with the Stars and Stripes."

Source:
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BBC News, 2010. US firms bid to run Royal Navy nuclear site [Online] (Updated 31st Oct 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/103938/US-firms-bid-to-run-Royal-Navy-nuclear-site [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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