With the first Vanguard class submarine due to arrive at Devonport Dockyard
in Plymouth this week, pressure on the government to stop the work ever going
ahead is increasing, with questions over whether the EA have acted legally in
their authorisation topping the agenda.

Government Minister’s are yet to give the official thumbs up to the Environment
Agency’s authorisation and with questions now being raised in Europe about the
legality of the proposal, all eyes are on the Government to make a decision
to either stop or allow the work to go ahead.

Since the plans to refit the subs in Plymouth were open to public consultation,
SAS have joined residents of Plymouth in a bid to stop the refit work taking
place in the city. The refit process will result in a 500% increase in the amount
of radioactive waste discharged into the River Tamar. Particular concern surrounds
the radioactive substance tritium, a substance that independent scientists believe
can be extremely hazardous to health but which government officials consider
to be of little significance.

SAS and others have called on the Secretaries of State to instigate a Public
Inquiry into the Devonport issue, before the proposal is given the government’s
seal of approval. Green MEP’s have now stepped into the debate, causing the
European Commission to launch their own investigation. The MEP’s are also looking
at whether in allowing these plans to go ahead at Devonport, the UK government
would be in breach of the Euratom treaty and the OSPAR Convention.

Vicky Garner of SAS said today;

"We hope the fact that the government are yet to give the official go-ahead
is a good sign, we hope that they have taken a serious look at what is being
proposed for Plymouth and are seeing how absurd the idea actually is!"

" Not only is the city of Plymouth home to thousands of people, the waters
in the area are heavily used for recreational purposes. If the work is allowed
to go ahead, in the short term we are likely to see damage done to the tourist
industry, in the long term, who knows? If tritium behaves in the way we are
being told it behaves, residents of Plymouth could be looking at a large increase
in the occurrence of cancers and genetic defects. What sort of government would
allow this development to go-ahead without knowing exactly what the consequences
could be for residents and visitors to the region? We must have a Public Inquiry."


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