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NUCLEAR submarines supporting the Royal Navy's fleet are a “ticking time bomb,” the Public Accounts Committee has warned.
The committee revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decision to delay maintenance at its 13 “not fit for purpose” nuclear sites created the problem, and questioned its ability to meet national security commitments.
A potential £20 billion shortfall in the MoD’s overall equipment programme was also highlighted.
The committee previously warned of a £2.9 billion “affordability gap” for the Nuclear Enterprise, which includes the Trident replacement submarines.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said the report puts the MoD's “incompetence and negligence” in the spotlight.
“It’s clear that the MoD is overreaching itself financially: it clearly cannot afford to buy a new nuclear weapons system and maintain its other spending requirements,” she said.
“Spending on Trident replacement when it can’t afford general equipment is grossly irresponsible.”
Ms Hudson added MoD inactivity was presenting health and safety risks.
“There is a backlog of subs waiting to be dismantled, some of which contain nuclear fuel waste that will be radioactive for thousands of years,” she said.
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