Ministry of Defence

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 21 December 2015

Lord West of Spithead Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend, before the Scottish general election, to table a debate in the House of Commons on the decision to build the Vanguard-class replacement.

Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Her Majesty’s Government has confirmed it will hold a debate in Parliament on the principle of Continuous at Sea Deterrence and our plans for the Successor submarine. A decision on when it will be held will be taken in due course.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 18 December 2015

Lord West of Spithead Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 and the revised time and cost estimates to the Trident programme, when the next major orders will be placed for long lead items and hull fabrication.

Lord West of Spithead Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there will still be a main gate decision for the Vanguard-class replacements.

Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
In 2016, we expect to approve the next stage of the programme to replace the Vanguard Class submarines and to commit to further investment to demonstrate the ability of the submarine enterprise to deliver the programme to time and cost. Long lead materials procurement continues within the on-going Assessment Phase.

Written Question – France: Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 17 December 2015

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the in-service dates are for the Technology Development Centre at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston and the Epure facility at the CEA site at Valduc; and when UK experiments are scheduled to commence at Epure.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
The Technology Development Centre and the Epure facility have been in service since 2014, in line with Teutates Treaty requirements. UK personnel are carrying out preparatory activities for UK trials at the Epure facility, including devising an experimental schedule.

Written Question – France: Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 17 December 2015

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) joint Anglo-French and (b) solely French experiments have been conducted using (i) laser and (ii) hydrodynamics facilities at Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston to date.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
I am withholding details of such experiments as their disclosure would prejudice national security and could prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another State.

Written Question – France: Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 17 December 2015

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which memoranda of understanding have been agreed with the French government in support of Project Teutates.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
The UK has three arrangements with France in support of the Teutates programme. The first is between the UK and French Nuclear Safety regulators to ensure safety of operations, and the second and third are between the Ministry of Defence and the Commissariat l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) to support the construction of the Epure facility at Valduc.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 17 December 2015

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 26 September 2014 to Question 209770 asked by the hon. Member for Moray, how much his Department has spent on studies on whether to refurbish or replace the existing Trident warhead design to date.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
As of the end of the last financial year (March 2015), the Ministry of Defence had spent £80 million on technology studies to support refurbishment of the current system and explore options for a potential future warhead, and £5.5 million on studies to support the decision whether to refurbish or replace the existing warhead.

Written Question – Trident: Electronic Warfare, Ministry of Defence, 16 December 2015

Steven Paterson Scottish National Party, Stirling
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the threat posed to the Trident nuclear weapon system by cyber-attacks; and what steps he is taking to ensure that system is secure against such attacks.

Steven Paterson Scottish National Party, Stirling
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on ensuring the Trident nuclear weapon system from cyber-attacks in each of the last three years; and how much he plans to spend in each of the next five years.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The Ministry of Defence audits the integrity of the UK’s nuclear deterrent regularly for all threats and hazards and acts to ensure that it maintains the highest possible standards. The Strategic Defence and Security Review acknowledges the growing cyber threat and the importance of investing in cyber security across all of our capabilities. The Government has invested £860 million in new technology and capabilities since 2011 and will invest £1.9 billion over the next five years in protecting the UK from cyber attack and developing our sovereign capabilities in cyberspace. Our approach to protecting Defence capabilities against and mitigating the impact of cyber attacks spans technical, organisational, procedural and physical measures benefiting many different systems and networks, and investment is integrated across these measures. Submarines operate in isolation by design, and this contributes to their cyber resilience. I will not discuss further details for reasons of safeguarding national security.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 15 December 2015

Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Parliament will be asked to vote on a decision to replace the warheads used for the successor nuclear weapon programme.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
As stated in paragraph 4.72 of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review: “Work continues to determine the optimum life of the UK’s existing nuclear warhead stockpile and the range of replacement options. A replacement warhead is not required until at least the late 2030s, possibly later. Given lead times, however, a decision on replacing the warhead may be required in this Parliament or early in the next.” The Government will inform Parliament of its intended approach in due course.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 15 December 2015

Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Strategic Defence and Security Review, if he will publish the membership of the team set up to deal with the Trident successor programme.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Mr Dunne) on 3 December 2015 to Question number 17976 to the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn).

Nuclear Weapons (Word Document, 14.33 KB)

Written Question – Trident Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 14 December 2015

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2015 to Question 17622, if he will identify separately the marginal costs associated with maintaining the Vanguard submarines in service for five years longer then envisaged.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
As announced in Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2010 we can extend the life of the existing Vanguard class submarines into the early 2030s. Cost estimates for supporting the ballistic missile submarines during the transition from Vanguard to Successor are not materially affected by minor changes to scheduled dates.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 8 December 2015

Lord West of Spithead Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when construction of the first new SSBN ballistic missile submarine will start at Barrow.

Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Whole Boat construction of the first Successor submarine is expected to begin in 2016 subject to the programme’s investment decision.

Written Question – Trident Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 7 December 2015

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the lifetime of the Vanguard-class submarines can be extended beyond the previous published date of 2018 to the 2030s referred to in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
As set out in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, we have assessed that we can safely manage and maintain the Vanguard boats until Successor submarines are introduced into service in the early 2030s.

Written Question – Radioactive Materials: Transport, Ministry of Defence, 7 December 2015

Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the decision was made by Defence Equipment and Support to transport special nuclear materials through Glasgow on 29 July 2015.

Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answers of 21 October 2015 to Questions 12114 and 12115, on what date Defence Equipment and Support made the decision that the High Security Vehicle should be withdrawn from service on 31 July 2015.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The decision to withdraw the High Security Vehicle from service on 31 July 2015 was made in February 2015.

Decisions and timings on the routes to be used for the transportation of Defence Nuclear Material are part of the operational planning process. I am withholding further information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 4 December 2015

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans for the first of the Successor submarines to enter service; and if he will make a statement.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
As stated in paragraph 4.76 in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 15 (Cm9161), we expect the first Successor submarine to enter service in the early 2030s.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 3 December 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 4.75 of the National Security and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, which (a) government departments and (b) commercial partners will be represented on the new delivery body for nuclear submarine procurement and support; and to which government department that body will report.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
Options for the composition of the new organisation will be developed and assessed for a decision in 2016. The Ministry of Defence will remain in control of the Successor submarine programme.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 3 December 2015

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 36 of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, what the costs are of the Successor programme.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 15 (Cm9161), our latest estimate of the total cost to manufacture the four Successor submarines is £31 billion; we will also set a contingency of £10 billion. This level of contingency represents about 35% of the costs to completion and is a prudent estimate based on past experience of large, complex projects.

We expect that, once the Successor submarines come into service, the in-service costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, which include the costs of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, will be similar to those of today – around 6% of the Defence budget.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines: Procurement, Ministry of Defence, 3 December 2015

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the projected in-service date for the first of the Successor class submarines has been delayed by two years; and if he will make a statement.

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the latest estimate of the cost of the Successor class submarine programme has increased to £31 billion; and whether he expects that cost to rise.

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the cost estimates of the Successor class of submarines in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 differs from his Department’s previous cost estimates for those submarines.

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the proposed in-service date for the Successor class of submarines has been postponed.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
Designing and building submarines is one of the largest programmes and one of the most complex activities that the Ministry of Defence and UK Industry has ever undertaken. It is the purpose of a design phase to improve our understanding of costs and timescales, which we have now done. The current estimates reflect what we have learned since the design phase began.

As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2015 (Cm9161), our latest estimate of the total cost to manufacture the four Successor submarines reflects greater maturity of the design and understanding of the supply chain, amounts to £31 billion; we will also set a contingency of £10 billion. This level of contingency represents about 35% of the costs to completion and is a prudent estimate based on past experience of large, complex projects.

Written Question – Strategic Defence and Security Review, Ministry of Defence, 2 December 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 3.3 of National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence Review 2015, published by the Government in November 2015, which challenges set out in that paragraph he plans to tackle by the maintenance and replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
The UK nuclear deterrent has a vital role to play in the security challenges for the coming decade and beyond. It safeguards against state-sponsored nuclear terrorism; provides the ultimate insurance policy against potential Weapons of Mass Destruction threats from states to the UK and its vital interests including our NATO Allies, and helps to maintain the rules based international order.

As stated in paragraph 4.64 of the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, other states continue to have nuclear arsenals and there is a continuing risk of further proliferation of nuclear weapons. There is a risk that states might use their nuclear capability to threaten us, try to constrain our decision making in a crisis or sponsor nuclear terrorism. Recent changes in the international security context remind us that we cannot relax our guard. We cannot rule out further shifts, which would put us, or our NATO Allies, under grave threat.

Written Question – Strategic Defence and Security Review, Ministry of Defence, 2 December 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 4.66 of the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, what criteria he has for determining the minimum amount of destructive power needed to deter any aggressor.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
The Government continually conducts assessments to ensure that the UK maintains a minimum, credible nuclear deterrent capability.

Written Question – Armed Forces: Pay, Ministry of Defence, 1 December 2015

Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how he plans to reinvest the savings achieved by phasing out the commitment bonus for members of the armed forces in the armed forces.

Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
The savings generated by the decision to phase out commitment bonuses for the Armed Forces form part of the overall Ministry of Defence efficiency package for this Parliament.

As detailed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (Cm 9161), efficiency savings will enable investment in a broad range of high-priority capabilities such as counter-terrorism and military surveillance to help protect the UK and our interests abroad, the procurement of a fleet of maritime patrol aircraft to increase further the protection of our nuclear deterrent and our new aircraft carriers, and funding to ensure our Armed Forces continue to be provided with the equipment they need and force protection when they are deployed.

Written Question -Trident Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 30 November 2015

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of retaining the Vanguard submarines in service for approximately five years longer than envisaged in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the additional costs of maintenance and other in-service costs that will be incurred by retaining the Vanguard submarines in service for approximately five years longer than envisaged in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
As set out in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, we have assessed that we can safely manage and maintain the Vanguard boats until the Successor submarines are introduced into service in the early 2030s. The marginal costs associated with maintaining the submarines can be contained within the existing running cost of the deterrent, which is around 6% of the defence budget per year.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 23 November 2015

Owen Thompson SNP Whip
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of the Trident programme over the last five years.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
We regularly review all major programmes to ensure that they operate in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The 2010 Trident Value for Money study and the 2013 Trident Alternatives Review both confirmed the cost effectiveness of a Trident-based deterrent on continuous patrol.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 18 November 2015

Margaret Ritchie Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the Trident missile renewal programme on international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
As set out in the 2006 White Paper “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) the UK will participate in the US life extension programme for the Trident D5 missile which will extend the life of the missiles until the early 2040s. As a responsible nuclear weapons state and party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), we are committed to trying to achieve a world without nuclear weapons and we recognise our obligations under the NPT. I am entirely satisfied that this life extension programme is fully consistent with our NPT obligations.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 16 November 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether General Sir Nicholas Houghton sought permission under departmental directive 2014DIN03-024 on Contact with the media and communicating in public to discuss the Trident nuclear weapons system in advance of the recent television interview on the Andrew Marr on Sunday programme.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
General Sir Nicholas Houghton sought prior clearance to be interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday, 8 November 2015: as with previous Remembrance Sunday appearances a number of military issues were covered.

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 10 November 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK nuclear weapons have been withdrawn from operational service as a result of (a) multilateral negotiation and (b) unilateral action since 1985.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The UK has a strong record on nuclear disarmament. Since 1985 the WE 177 and Polaris warheads have been removed from operational service leaving only one type of nuclear warhead in service delivered by the Trident missile system. These withdrawals from operational service have been as a result of unilateral action. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence set out in his Written Ministerial Statement of 20 January 2015 (Official Report, column 4WS) the Government has met its commitment to implement the changes announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 to reduce the number of operationally available warheads from fewer than 160 to no more than 120.

20150120 – WMS Hansard extract – Nuclear Deterrent (Word Document, 14.54 KB)

Written Question – Trident: Warrington, Ministry of Defence, 9 November 2015

Helen Jones Chair, Petitions Committee
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of jobs in Warrington which are (a) dependent on and (b) directly related to Britain continuing to maintain an at-sea nuclear deterrent; and if he will make a statement.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The Ministry of Defence no longer compiles national or regional defence industry employment statistics as they do not directly support policy-making or operations.

Written Question – Nato, Ministry of Defence, 9 November 2015

Martin Docherty Scottish National Party, West Dunbartonshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contribution his Department has made, excluding investment in Trident, to the NATO (a) civil budget, (b) military budget and (c) Security Investment Programme in each of the last three years.

Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
The amount contributed by the Ministry of Defence to NATO’s Military Budget and the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) in each of the last three financial years is as follows:

Financial Year Military Budget NSIP
£ million £ million
2014-15 82.050 47.261
2013-14 109.741 53.287
2012-13 123.408 45.975

 

Both the Military Budget and NSIP amounts include UK contribution to NATO Operations and Missions. The contribution to both funding streams is based on the agreed NATO cost share for the UK of 10.479%.

The UK contribution to the NATO Civil Budget is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Written Question -Nuclear Submarines: Iron and Steel, Ministry of Defence, 5 November 2015

Paul Monaghan Scottish National Party, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2015 to the hon. Member for Reigate to Question 12151, whether he plans for the boats built to replace the nuclear submarine fleet to be built with steel manufactured in the UK.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
Steel for key defence programmes, including submarines, is sourced from a range of suppliers. It is the responsibility of prime contractors to obtain the steel required to complete MOD programmes at a competitive cost, within time constraints and to the required quality.

I expect a range of UK suppliers and others will be invited to bid and provide steel for the Successor programme.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 4 November 2015

Crispin Blunt Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department last completed an assessment of the whole life cost of the Successor programme.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 23 October 2015 to Question 12152.
Trident (Word Document, 15.57 KB)

Written Question -Rosyth Dockyard: Radioactive Waste, Ministry of Defence, 4 November 2015

Steven Paterson Scottish National Party, Stirling
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to safely store or treat nuclear contaminated material arising from the decommissioning of nuclear-powered submarines at Rosyth by Babcock.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
All radioactive waste arising from the decommissioning of nuclear-powered submarines at Rosyth will be transported off-site either for recycling, direct disposal, or storage in an interim storage facility as part of the Submarine Dismantling Project.

For certain components, a temporary holding facility may be required on site; this short-term holding and all other activities will be fully regulated by nuclear safety and environmental regulators.

Written Question – Navy, Ministry of Defence, 30 October 2015

Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library copies of the Naval Service Operational Pinch Point Groups for (a) each quarter of each financial year from 2005-06 to 2014-15 and (b) the first two quarters of 2015-16.

Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Stte for Defence
Prior to 2015, Naval Service Operational Pinch Point Groups were not recorded quarterly. However, Pinch Points as at 1 April of each year are published in the Ministry of Defence (MOD)Annual Report and Accounts which are available in The Library of the House. Please note, an MOD Annual Report for 2009-10 was consolidated into the MOD Departmental Resource Accounts 2009-10.

The number of Naval Service Operational Pinch Points in July 2015 and October 2015 are as shown in the following table.

1 Apr-1 Jul 2015 1 Oct 2015
Nuclear Watchkeepers Petty Officer-Warrant Officer1 Nuclear Watchkeepers Petty Officer-Warrant Officer1
Strategic Weapon Systems Engineers Leading Hand-Warrant Officer1 Strategic Weapon Systems Engineers Leading Hand-Warrant Officer1
Tactical Weapon Systems Engineers Petty Officer-Chief Petty Officer Tactical Weapon Systems Engineers Petty Officer-Chief Petty Officer
Marine Engineer General Service Petty Officer Marine Engineer General Service Petty Officer
Weapon Engineer General Service Petty Officer Weapon Engineer General Service Petty Officer
Seaman specialist Able Seaman Seaman specialist Able Seaman
Mine Warfare Leading Hand-Petty Officer Mine Warfare Leading Hand-Petty Officer
Medical Technician (Operating Department Practitioner) Leading Hand-Chief Petty Officer Medical Technician (Operating Department Practitioner) Leading Hand-Chief Petty Officer
Medical Assistant (Submarines) Senior Rates Medical Assistant (Submarines) Senior Rates
Hydrographic Services Leading Hand Hydrographic services Leading Hand
Underwater Warfare specialist Able Seaman-Petty Officer Underwater Warfare specialist– Rank: Able Seaman-Petty Officer
Submarine Coxswain Chief Petty Officer Submarine Coxswain Chief Petty Officer
Submarine Sonar specialist (SSM) Able Seaman Submarine Sonar specialist (SSM) Able Seaman
Above Water Warfare specialist Leading Hand Above Water Warfare specialist Leading Hand
Above Water Tactical specialist Leading Hand Above Water Tactical specialist Leading Hand
Marine Engineer General Service Chief Petty Officer Marine Engineer General Service Chief Petty Officer
Chef Able Seaman-Leading Hand Chef Able Seaman-Leading Hand
Marine Engineer General Service Leading Hand Marine Engineer General Service Leading Hand
Weapon Engineer General Service Leading Hand Weapon Engineer General Service Leading Hand
Weapon Engineer Officer (Submarines) Lieutenant Weapon Engineer Officer (Submarines) Lieutenant
Submarine Tactical specialist (TSM) Petty Officer-Chief Petty Officer

Written Question -Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 29 October 2015

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions his Department has had with Babcock on the proposal to extend the limit of restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies to nuclear powered submarines at HMNB Clyde from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the report by the (a) Nuclear Propulsion Integrated Project Team and (b) Frazer Nash on plans to extend the time limit of restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies to nuclear powered submarines from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has commissioned an Independent Nuclear Safety Assessment report on plans to extend the time limit of restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies to nuclear powered submarines from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the required timescale is for the restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies with reference to the publication Safety Shutdown Procedure for Astute Class Vessels, published in 2012.

Photo of Brendan O’Hara Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has instructed Babcock to extend the time a nuclear powered submarine can be without electrical power from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the level of financial saving accruing to Babcock from the proposed extension of the time unit of the restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what analysis his Department has conducted of the effect on safety of the proposed extension of the restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the proposed extension of the time limit of restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies to nuclear powered submarines at HMNB Clyde from 20 minutes up to a maximum of three hours.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The Ministry of Defence regularly reviews nuclear related processes and procedures with industry partners and with regulators, which includes independent safety scrutiny. Safety remains our priority.

I cannot comment on specific timescales for the restoration of Electrical Shore Supplies to nuclear powered submarines nor reports produced in connection with this, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 23 October 2015

Crispin Blunt Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what risk assessments his Department has made of the Successor submarine and Trident missile renewal programmes; and whether a further such risk assessment is planned to inform a final main gate decision.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
Ministry of Defence and Treasury officials are involved in scrutinising and assuring the costs and the levels of risk within the Successor submarine and Trident D5 missile life extension programmes, including before major investment decisions.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 23 October 2015

Crispin Blunt Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department’s latest estimate is of (a) the whole life programme cost of the Successor programme, (b) capital costs associated with (i) submarine acquisition, (ii) Trident missile renewal and (iii) basing facilities, (c) the running and support costs of the Successor fleet and associated capability to protect and sustain it, (d) all future costs associated with the Atomic Weapons Establishment maintaining a capability to maintain an on-going nuclear warhead design capability and (e) decommissioning costs.

Crispin Blunt Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department last carried out an assessment of the whole life cost of the Successor programme.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The 2014 Update to Parliament set out an estimate for the Successor submarine acquisition of around £25 billion, based on a four boat solution, spread over some 25 years. These estimates are currently being refreshed to inform the Comprehensive Spending Review and Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Once the new fleet of SSBNs come into service, we expect that the in-service costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, which include the costs of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, basing and disposals, will be similar to the current system, at around six per cent of the defence budget.

While we have no plans to replace the current Trident D5 missile, we are participating with our US partners in a programme to extend the current life to the 2060s. The estimated cost is around £250 million.

Written Question – Radioactive Materials: Transport, Ministry of Defence, 21 October 2015

Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason high security vehicles were being used to transport components of nuclear weapons through Glasgow on 29 July 2015 after being withdrawn from service.

Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator has amended his advice on when high security vehicles for transporting special nuclear materials should be withdrawn from service; and for what reasons those vehicles continue to be used after their retirement date.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The High Security Vehicle was withdrawn from service on 31 July 2015 and has therefore not been used for operations since that date. The decision to withdraw the vehicle was taken by Defence Equipment and Support. I am withholding further information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Written Question – Clyde Naval Base: Staff, Ministry of Defence, 19 October 2015

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many personnel of his Department working directly with the Trident programme at HM Naval Base Clyde are based permanently within (a) Argyll and Bute constituency, (b) West Dunbartonshire, (c) other parts of Scotland and (d) other parts of the UK.

Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Stte for Defence
Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde is one of the largest employment sites in Scotland, with around 6,800 military and civilian jobs now, increasing to around 8,200 by 2022.

Civilian and Service personnel are not assigned to positions easily identified as supporting the Trident Programme. The information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Written Question – Nuclear Installations: Security, Ministry of Defence, 17 September 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which offices in his Department are responsible for maintaining and monitoring nuclear security at defence sites.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
There are a number of organisations within the Ministry of Defence (MOD) who have responsibility for maintaining and monitoring nuclear security at defence sites. MOD Head Office sets security policy for defence including the requirements for nuclear security. The responsibility for the delivery of nuclear security at defence nuclear sites rests with the Head of Establishment. Nuclear security assurance (monitoring) is delivered through self assurance by the defence nuclear site. Independent assurance is provided through the Principal Security Advisors to Front Line Commands and the Defence Equipment and Support organisation and through MOD Head Office.

Written Question – Nuclear Installations: Security, Ministry of Defence, 17 September 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many reportable nuclear security incidents at defence sites he was notified of in the financial years (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15; and for each of these years, how many incidents were classified as (i) major, (ii) moderate, (iii) minor and (iv) of no significance according to the categorisation used by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
There were no incidents of unauthorised access to nuclear weapons and material. Defence Ministers were notified of four security incidents in 2013-14 and three security incidents in 2014-15 at defence nuclear sites. The Office for Nuclear Regulation security categorisation does not apply to defence.

Written Question – Nuclear Engineering, Ministry of Defence, 16 September 2015

Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on additional payments to retain nuclear engineers in service in each financial year between 2005-06 and 2014-15; and if he will make a statement.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
In Financial Year (FY) 2005-06, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) made Recruitment and Retention Allowance (RRA) payments of £1.3 million to civilian Nuclear Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (NSQEP). Payment information for subsequent financial years for civilian personnel until 2014-15 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Not all NSQEP are nuclear engineers; staff in receipt of NSQEP include personnel in other functions such as project management and logistics.

The following table provides the total Recruitment and Retention Payments paid specifically to military nuclear engineers.

FY

2007-08

£ millions

FY

2008-09

£ millions

FY

2009-10

£ millions

FY

2010-11

£ millions

FY

2011-12

£ millions

FY

2012-13

£ millions

FY

2013-14

£ millions

FY

2014-15

£ millions

Nuclear

Propulsion

Pay

£2.9 £2.8 £3.2 £3.3 £3.6 £3.6 £3.4 £3.1
Financial

Retention

Incentive

£0.7 £1.9 £1.9 £1.4 £0.2 £0.8 £0.8 £0.7
TOTAL £3.6 £4.7 £5.1 £4.7 £3.8 £4.4 £4.2 £3.8

 

Written Question – Nuclear Power: Training, Ministry of Defence, 16 September 2015

Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) service personnel and (b) civil servants have completed the (i) Nuclear Advanced Course, (ii) Nuclear Reactor Course, (iii) Nuclear Radiological Protection Course, (iv) Nuclear Dockyard Reactor Chemist Course and (v) Rolls Royce Nuclear Engineers Course in each financial year since 2001-02.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The information requested by Service (Serv) and civil service (CS) personnel is provided below:

Financial Year NAC NAC NRC NRPC NRPC NDRCC
Serv CS Serv Serv CS CS
2001-02 2 0 17 1 1 0
2002-03 0 0 15 0 2 0
2003-04 2 1 18 1 1 0
2004-05 1 0 14 2 0 0
2005-06 2 0 18 2 0 0
2006-07 2 0 15 0 1 0
2007-08 1 1 18 1 2 0
2008-09 2 1 15 2 1 0
2009-10 2 3 18 2 0 0
2010-11 2 4 20 1 1 0
2011-12 1 5 14 1 2 0
2012-13 2 6 16 5 2 2
2013-14 2 2 20 2 3 0
2014-15 1 2 14 1 4 0

NAC – Nuclear Advanced Course

NRC – Nuclear Reactor Course

NRPC – Nuclear Radiological Protection Course

NDRCC – Nuclear Dockyard Reactor Chemist Course

In 2012-13 two civil servants attended the Nuclear Dockyard Reactor Chemist Course (NDRCC) run primarily for civilian contractors (Babcock) within the dockyards.

No Service personnel or civil servants attended the Rolls Royce Nuclear Engineer’s Course (NEC) attended by Rolls Royce staff.

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons: Transport, Ministry of Defence, 15 September 2015

Owen Thompson SNP Whip
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what notice is given to emergency services in advance of visits by nuclear convoys.

Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
Police forces are always notified in advance of a convoy being routed through their area. Police forces may advise fire and rescue services of the presence of the convoy if it is moving into the vicinity of a fire service operation.

I am withholding specific information on the period of notice given to the emergency services as its disclosure would prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of the Armed Forces.

Written Question – AWE Aldermaston: Nuclear Reactors, Ministry of Defence, 15 September 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Atomic Weapons Establishment review of how best to achieve the customer requirements for Project Pegasus was (a) started and (b) completed.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
Consistent with industry best practice, Pegasus is under regular review to ensure it meets the Ministry of Defence’s requirements effectively. There is no specific closing date for this activity as it will continue through the life of the project.

Written Question – Nuclear Engineering, Ministry of Defence, 15 September 2015

Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with (a) Ministerial colleagues and (b) the civil nuclear industry on the provision of nuclear engineers; and if he will make a statement.

Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to recruit nuclear engineers from the civil sector; and if he will make a statement.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
A number of engineering graduates and apprentices are recruited each year to the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s civilian workforce and trained as nuclear specialists. This is supplemented by lateral entry of personnel with established nuclear skills, including engineers from the wider market and former Royal Navy personnel.

The Government recognises that both the civil and Defence Nuclear Programmes must be sustained. I have discussed this issue with Ministerial colleagues from other Government Departments over the last year and the Government’s approach to generating the skills needed was published in “Sustaining Our Nuclear Skills” on 20 March 2015, available at the following link: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sustaining-our-nuclear-skills. MOD officials attend the Nuclear Industry Council and the Nuclear Owner’s Group at which these issues are discussed with representatives of both the civil and defence industry.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarine, Ministry of Defence, 15 September 2015

Brendan O’Hara Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what modifications will be needed at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport to accept the successor submarine programme; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of adapting the ship-lift facility at HMNB Clyde to accommodate the successor to the Vanguard class submarine; and how much of the money announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 31 August 2015 will be used to undertake that work.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
On 31 August 2015, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that at least £500 million would be made available for the Royal Navy’s flagship submarine base HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, securing 6,700 jobs and creating thousands more.

The project to make the necessary adaptations to accommodate the Successor submarine programme at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde and Royal Naval Armament Depot Coulport is in its Assessment Phase. The number and scope of modifications will not be known until these assessments are complete.

Similarly, it is not possible to establish precise costings until the project is more mature.

Written Question – Russia: NATO, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2015

Owen Thompson, SNP Whip
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what notice is given to emergency services in advance of visits by nuclear convoys.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
Police forces are always notified in advance of a convoy being routed through their area. Police forces may advise fire and rescue services of the presence of the convoy if it is moving into the vicinity of a fire service operation.

I am withholding specific information on the period of notice given to the emergency services as its disclosure would prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of the Armed Forces.

Written Question – Russia: NATO, Ministry of Defence, 24 July 2015

Nicholas Soames, Conservative
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the balance between NATO and Russian (a) naval, (b) air, (c) ground and (d) nuclear forces; and if he will make a statement.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
The Government keeps its assessments of Russian naval, air, ground and nuclear forces under appropriate review. Further details cannot be provided in the interests of national and international security.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 20 July 2015

Michael Dugher, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the operational viability of the UK’s Trident programme as part of the continuous at-sea deterrent.

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
Her Majesty’s Government takes its responsibilities extremely seriously to ensure and assure a minimum credible nuclear deterrent based upon a policy of Continuous At Sea Deterrence, delivered by the Royal Navy. To sustain this, we are committed to replacing the current Vanguard-class submarines with a fleet of four Successor ballistic missile submarines.

Written Question – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 16 July 2015

Lord West of Spithead, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there has been any decision on the storage of nuclear reactor compartments from the growing number of decommissioned nuclear submarines in United Kingdom ports; and when those submarines will be broken up.

Earl Howe, Conservative
A public consultation about the location of an interim store for intermediate level radioactive waste removed from decommissioned nuclear submarines concluded on 20 February 2015. The Ministry of Defence expects to announce the site location during 2016.

A submarine at Rosyth will undergo initial dismantling, to demonstrate and refine the process. The first stage is removal of low level radioactive waste, which is planned for 2016, subject to approval from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Written Ministerial Statement – Publication of the Submarine Dismantling Project Public Consultation Initial Report, Ministry of Defence, 15 July 2015

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
On 16 October 2014 I announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) public consultation process would take place between 14 November 2014 and end on 20 February 2015. Today I can announce, with the conclusion of that process, an initial report from the Public Consultation is being published online.

Five sites were shortlisted to house an Interim Store for Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) removed from 27 nuclear submarines that have been, or will be, decommissioned. The interim store will have the capacity to hold all this ILW until it is transferred to a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) some time after 2040.

The Public Consultation sought views about the sites that had been shortlisted and how people felt about the site near them being chosen. The report draws together all the views and collates them under themes to provide a clear and accurate consensus of the opinions raised by site and subject.

This initial report contains only views from the public and no response from MOD as yet, this will come in a later report. It has been published today on the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/submarine-dismantling-project-site-for-the-interim-storage-of-intermediate-level-radioactive-waste.

Moving forward, assessment continues, taking into account the Public Consultation findings and information that has been requested and gathered from the sites themselves. The five shortlisted sites are: AWE Aldermaston in Berkshire; AWE Burghfield in Berkshire; Capenhurst in Cheshire; Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire and Sellafield in Cumbria.

A final decision about which site will house the Interim Store will be made in 2016.

A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House.

Written Question -Nuclear Weapons: USA, Ministry of Defence, 15 July 2015

Paul Flynn, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the safety of US government procedures for transporting and maintaining nuclear missiles in considering whether to permit such missiles to be based in the UK.

Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
I have made no such assessment.

Written Question -Trident: Expenditure, Ministry of Defence, 14 July 2015

Nick Brown, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what amount was spent on the Trident nuclear weapons system as a proportion of UK GDP (a) across the lifetime of that system and (b) in each year of the Trident programme for which estimates for that spending have been made.

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
In line with the December 2006 White Paper, ‘the Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm 6994), we estimate the in-service costs of the deterrent are around 6% of the annual Defence budget.

Written Question – Navy, Ministry of Defence, 6 July 2015

Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many seagoing units the Royal Navy operates.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
The Royal Navy currently operates the sea going units listed below.

Order of Battle
Landing Platform Helicopter 1
Landing Platform Dock 2
Type 45 Destroyer 6
Type 23 Frigate 13
Hunt Class Mine Countermeasure Vessel (MCMV) 8
Sandown Class MCMV 7
River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel 3
Helicopter Offshore Patrol Vessel 1
P2000 Patrol Boats 16
Light Patrol Vessels 2
Ocean Survey Vessel 1
Coastal Survey Vessel 2
Survey Motor Launch 1
Ice Patrol Ship 1
Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear 4
Ship Submersible Nuclear 6

Written Question – Armed Forces: Mass Media, Ministry of Defence, 29 June 2015

Paul Flynn, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what rules apply to media interviews with (a) service personnel dealing with nuclear weapons and (b) other serving military personnel.

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
The policy governing contact with the media for all serving Defence personnel can be found in Defence Instruction Notice 2014DIN03-024: Contact with the Media and Communicating in Public, which is publicly available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/351363/2014DIN03-024_Redacted-clean.pdf

Written Question – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 22 June 2015

Kevan Jones, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in which month of 2016 his Department plans to bring before the House proposals for the Main Gate decision for the renewal of the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The timing of any debate in the House on the Successor programme will be announced in due course.

Written Question – USA: Defence, Ministry of Defence, 22 June 2015

Jim Shannon, DUP
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to strengthen the UK’s relationship with the US in relation to defence operations and funding.

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
The UK-US defence relationship is as strong as it has ever been.

On operations, our forces have fought side by side in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today we are together combating terrorism and violent extremism in the Middle East and Africa, maintaining freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, providing reassurance to NATO Allies in Eastern Europe, providing training and other support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, undertaking counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, countering the narcotic trade in South America and the Caribbean, fighting Ebola in West Africa and providing nuclear deterrence for NATO.

Beyond joint operations, our collaboration spans the full spectrum of defence activity including intelligence sharing, nuclear cooperation, joint exercises and training, defence procurement, cyber, science and technology.

The US continues to value what the UK has always been able to offer: our leadership and partnership in addressing shared challenges, and a contribution to global operations that no other ally can match.

On funding, we have the largest defence budget in the EU and the second largest in NATO. We will spend 2% of our GDP on defence this year. We will invest over £160 billion over the next decade on our future force.

Our defence relationship with the US benefits from a healthy regular dialogue and strong personal relationships at the most senior levels.

Our Combined Chiefs met for the third time in recent history in the US in May to discuss our approach to shared challenges like ISIL and Russia and to ensuring that our forces are increasingly able to operate alongside each other.

When I met with the US Secretary of Defense earlier in the year he said that “our military collaboration is the cornerstone of both of our nations’ security”. I look forward to seeing him again next week at the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers where we will continue to look for opportunities to strengthen our relationship for our mutual benefit.

Written Question – Polonium, Ministry of Defence, 18 June 2015

Andrew Gwynne, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the UK ended production of Polonium-210; and if he will make a statement.

Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
According to departmental records, Polonium-210 was produced in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s at civilian sites for the nuclear weapons programme. There is no evidence to suggest that Polonium-210 was produced in the UK more recently than the 1960s.

Written Question -Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 17 June 2015

Jim Shannon, DUP
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK’s nuclear capabilities are sufficient to meet the deterrence requirements.

Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
The Government takes its responsibilities for maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent extremely seriously and continually conducts assessments to ensure that the credibility and standards for safety, security and operational effectiveness are met. It would not be appropriate to comment on any further details as this could allow conclusions to be drawn on the UK’s capabilities.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 16 June 2015

The Marquess of Lothian, Conservative
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent is vulnerable to espionage as a result of insufficient maritime patrol surveillance.

Earl Howe, Conservative
The Government takes its responsibilities for maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent extremely seriously and continually conducts assessments to ensure that the required security and operational effectiveness standards are met. I am not prepared to comment on any further details as this could allow conclusions to be drawn on the UK’s capabilities.

Written Question – Armed Forces: Training, Ministry of Defence, 16 June 2015

Madeleine Moon, Labour
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many joint training sessions involving reserve and regular forces took place in each month in (a) 2014 and (b) 2015; how many (i) reserve and (ii) regular service personnel attended each such session; and if he will make a statement.

Julian Brazier, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Royal Naval Reserve trains with Royal Navy Regulars and other Front Line Command regular forces on both joint exercises and training courses. Major joint exercises involving regular and reserve Maritime Forces include Exercise TRIDENT JAGUAR and Operation COUGAR, while joint training courses are routine business.

The British Army is now a fully integrated force. Every Army Reserve unit is paired with a regular unit, providing opportunities for joint training at both the individual and collective level. Over the last year, Army Reserve units with embedded Regular personnel have conducted 23 overseas training exercises in nine countries, including USA, Denmark and Cyprus.

As part of the whole force approach, the Royal Air Force aims to exercise in a joint regular/reserve environment as often as possible. Appropriate personnel participate in exercises, irrespective of whether they are regular or reserve.

Written Question – USA: Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 15 June 2015

Caroline Lucas, Green
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with (a) the Foreign Secretary, (b) the US and (c) others on the possibility of US nuclear missiles being located in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
I refer the hon. Member to the oral answer my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Europe (Mr Lidington) gave on 9 June 2015 (Official Report, column 1024).

20150609 – Hansard extract on Nuclear Security (Word Document, 24 KB)

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 15 June 2015

Lord West of Spithead, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, by October 2015, how much money will have been committed to replacing Trident.

Earl Howe, Conservative
I refer the noble Lord to the answer my predecessor the noble Lord Astor of Hever gave on 4 November 2014 to Question number HL2404.

Figures for the end of the Financial Year 2014-15 will not be available until the Ministry of Defence’s Annual Reports and Accounts have been published.

Trident Submarines (Word Document, 23.5 KB)

Written Question – Trident Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 15 June 2015

Lord West of Spithead, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the decision to proceed with the building of four replacement Trident submarines will require parliamentary approval; and if so, whether they plan to seek such parliamentary approval at the same time as, or before, the Main Gate decision is made.

Earl Howe, Conservative
This Government was elected on a mandate to renew Trident and provide continuous at sea deterrence by replacing the Vanguard-class submarines with a fleet of four Successor submarines. Parliament has already debated the vote twice on the issue, on 14 March 2007 and again on 20 January 2015. A further debate is planned during this Parliament.

Written Question – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 12 June 2015

Lord West of Spithead, Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the Ministry of Defence to be ready to make the Main Gate decision for replacing Trident.

Earl Howe, Conservative
I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon) in the House of Commons on 8 June 2015 (Official Report, column 904), to the hon. Member for Barrow (John Woodcock).

Arms Control: USA, 8 June 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what reports have been prepared in the last 12 months on joint US-UK technical co-operation on nuclear arms control; and what circulation has been arranged for each such report.

Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)

A joint US-UK report on technical co-operation on nuclear arms control was issued during a co-sponsored event on 11 May 2015 during the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York. The report was published by the US on the US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration website on 12 May 2015. A copy of the report can be found through the following link:

http://nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/Joint_USUK_Report_FINAL.PDF

 

Question – Armed Forces: Airborne Maritime Patrol, 4 June 2015

Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to improve the United Kingdom’s airborne maritime patrol capability.

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, we have been clear for some time that the right point to look again at the requirement for a maritime patrol aircraft is in the forthcoming strategic defence and security review, the SDSR. That decision will be informed by the latest threat assessments and the conclusions come to in recent years. We continue to embed around 30 former Nimrod air crew in the maritime patrol communities of allied air forces in order to reduce the time and risks associated with regenerating a capability.

Lord Reid of Cardowan Labour

My Lords—

Lord Empey UUP

Steady on. Does the Minister not agree with me that one does not need a review to know that, as an island nation with a sea-borne nuclear deterrent capability, we are not even in a position to secure our own deterrent, because we do not have the capability to do so? I understand that all things have to be reviewed, but this is such a no-brainer. It is obviously of great concern if we cannot protect our own sea lanes against an increasingly aggressive Russian naval force. Will the Minister go back to his

right honourable friend in the other place and say that we should be proceeding now to prepare the necessary facilities to ensure that we have adequate protection for our nuclear deterrent as well as for our shores?

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, I absolutely do not accept that we cannot protect our own sea lanes. We have acknowledged that we have a capability gap, following the decision not to bring the Nimrod MRA4 into service, but at the same time we made it clear that we chose to accept that gap because we knew that we could mitigate it through employment of other assets, as well as through co-operation with allies. Even taking operational activity into account, we remain of the view that the SDSR is the right context in which to take a decision of this significance.

Lord Reid of Cardowan Labour

My Lords, does the noble Earl accept that there is an ingenuity in the MoD in producing euphemisms? I was once told that something was being put not into mothballs, but into a “state of extended readiness”. When he mentions the capability gap, will he accept that the maritime patrol aircraft and its facilities is not an optional add-on for a nuclear deterrent but an essential component providing surveillance, security and secrecy of location? What is the point of having a continuous at-sea submarine-based nuclear deterrent if it does not have those features? This has all the hallmarks not of a minor housekeeping problem for the MoD but of a major strategic blunder.

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, I emphasise again that this matter will be looked at very closely in the context of the SDSR—indeed, some preparatory work has already been done. I do not accept the noble Lord’s contention that we are without protection in this important area. We have the use of other military assets, as I said, including Type 23 frigates, submarines and Merlin anti-submarine warfare helicopters, and we rely on the assistance that we get from our allies and partners.

Lord Craig of Radley Crossbench

My Lords, the Minister mentioned that some preparatory steps are being taken in the MoD. What date is the MoD planning for the introduction, assuming an agreement through the review that he mentioned?

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, I think that the noble and gallant Lord will accept that we must not leap ahead of ourselves too much. However, I can tell him that the capabilities required from a future maritime patrol aircraft have been studied by the MoD over the past two and a half years. The study has received representations from a number of defence industrial organisations, which have allowed us to understand better the nature of the platforms in existence, as well as the timeframe in which novel technologies are likely to mature.

Baroness Jolly Liberal Democrat

My Lords, given the Minister’s response just now, can he reassure the House in the mean time how we will be able to meet our international obligations on search and rescue—for example, were an aircraft to crash in the furthermost corner of our sector of the Atlantic?

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, a range of other military aircraft provide search and rescue radar capability to the Armed Forces. We have the E-3D Sentry system, which admittedly is optimised for the air-to-air role, but its radar has a maritime search mode. C-130 Hercules aircraft are fitted with radar systems that, combined with visual search, provide basic maritime search capabilities. RAF Sea King helicopters, Royal Navy Merlin and Lynx helicopters all possess short- range surface search radar for use in maritime search operations.

Lord Rosser Labour

I welcome the Minister to his first Defence Question since his appointment. He has moved from the health of the nation to the health of our Armed Forces. He referred to the strategic defence and security review and our maritime patrol capability. Can he confirm that, in pursuit of a bipartisan approach to defence policy, Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition will also be involved in the consultations on the SDSR, which the Government told us last Thursday in this House are now taking place?

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, I hope I can reassure the noble Lord. We will be looking for opportunities to consult a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, naturally, academics and parliamentarians. The Opposition will be welcome to feed in their ideas in the course of that process.

Lord West of Spithead Labour

My Lords, the surveillance of our offshore economic zone and our waters is much broader than just the submarine issue. There is a real resource and money issue. We have already sent two Border Force cutters to the Mediterranean, one of our offshore patrol vessels for fishery protection has gone to the West Indies, and there is insufficient money in the defence budget. If we are going to provide this capability, what capabilities are going to be removed because there is just not enough money to do the things we need to do without going up to at least the 2% of GDP and, ideally, more?

Earl Howe Conservative

My Lords, it is important to emphasise that the SDSR will be underpinned by a very robust assessment of the threats that face us and the needs that we have to meet those threats. On the noble Lord’s wider point, the Ministry of Defence is just one organisation with a role in the security of the UK’s territorial waters. Under the UK national strategy for maritime security we have a ministerial working group chaired by the FCO. That has been established to focus on maritime security in its entirety.

 

Written Statement – Royal Navy Nuclear Reactor Prototype Review, Ministry of Defence, 25 March 2015

Michael Fallon, The Secretary of State for Defence
On 6th March 2014, my predecessor announced his decision to refuel the nuclear reactor in HMS Vanguard, one of the UK’s four ballistic missile submarines, during its planned deep maintenance period. This was a prudent precaution following the discovery of a microscopic breach in the cladding around one of the fuel cells in the prototype reactor plant at our Shore Test Facility at Dounreay in Scotland. My predecessor also asked the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser to review again the evidence on which the decision was taken not to prototype the next generation PWR3 reactor, due to be fitted in the Successor ballistic missile submarines.

The review was undertaken by three eminent nuclear experts, Professor Robin Grimes, Professor Dame Sue Ion and Professor Andrew Sherry. I have received the review Panel’s report and am grateful for the Panel’s efforts and insights.

The Panel concluded that it was a valid decision not to prototype PWR3. They also agreed that there was no practical course of action that would have enabled a prototype facility to be built ahead of the first Successor submarine.

The Panel have advised that, with no PWR3 shore test facility, far greater requirements will need to be placed on other elements of the submarine enterprise to provide data, experience and assurance to underpin safety and availability especially those elements that are unique to the UK. As such, I have agreed to their recommendation that the Department undertake a Nuclear Propulsion Capability Review to ensure the necessary capability and capacity is in place to sustain these requirements. This review will form part of the Department’s routine work to ensure that continuous at sea deterrence can be sustained now and in the future.

The review confirms that the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment will not be required to support reactor core prototyping activity beyond 2015, as set out to Parliament on 2 November 2011 (Official Record, Col 37WS). It is anticipated that defueling and fuel management activities will continue at the site until 2022. The Vulcan Defuel and Decommissioning project is assessing detailed options which range from placing the prototype facilities into care and maintenance (while retaining the site’s strategic capabilities), to decommissioning the site and returning it to Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Initial decisions on the future of the site are expected around 2016.

All Written Answers – Trident Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 19 March 2015

Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many days Trident submarines have not been at sea in each of the last three years.

Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
The United Kingdom has maintained a continuous at sea deterrent for more than 45 years, during which time we have always had at least one submarine at sea on deterrent patrol.

All Written Answers – Trident Missiles, Ministry of Defence, 19 March 2015

Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on general maintenance of Trident missiles in each of the last three years.

Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Trident missiles were capable of being deployed on 11 March 2015.

Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on refurbishment of Trident missiles in each of the last three years.

Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Trident missiles are undergoing maintenance work.

Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
The UK’s Trident missiles are provided from a shared pool at the US Navy’s Strategic Weapons Facility at Kings Bay, Georgia. The US undertakes maintenance of the missiles while they are pooled, at which time they are not allocated to either nation.

Under the Polaris Sales Agreement (amended for Trident) the UK pays the US Department of Defense an annual contribution towards the overall cost of the Strategic Weapons Facility. This contribution, which includes maintenance work, is based on the UK’s share of the overall missile inventory, and historically has amounted to around £12 million a year.

There is no separate missile refurbishment program. However, in order to minimise the risk of obsolescence, the US is undertaking the Trident Life Extension program. MOD expenditure for this program (at outturn prices) for the last three years is:

Financial year
£ million
2011-12
2.9
2012-13
16.2
2013-14
21.9

We do not comment on operational matters for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

All Written Answers – Radioactive Materials, Ministry of Defence, 27 February 2015

Angus Robertson SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear safety events there were at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport, by category, in each of the last six years.

Angus Robertson SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs) 
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many nuclear safety events there were at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport involving (a) Class A and (b) Class B incidents involving (i) nuclear propulsion and (ii) nuclear weapons; and what the details were of each such incident.

Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
Holding answer received on 03 November 2014
The information requested, accompanied by the category definitions, is provided below.

Events are categorised in accordance with Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde’s internal criteria, which record all events, however seemingly minor. This comprehensive, independent recording process allows Clyde to maintain a robust reporting culture, undertake learning from experience and to take early corrective action. This reporting process has been agreed by, and is subject to routine inspections by, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator.

None of the events in the reports caused any harm to the health of any member of staff on the Naval Base, or to any member of the public, and the severity of the reported events has remained at a very low level. For example, incorrect labelling of an empty pallet and not filling out the correct form before painting inside a submarine are two of the recorded events. Investigations into all such events are carried out and, where necessary, measures are, put in place to prevent a recurrence.

Nuclear safety events involving Nuclear Propulsion:

FY2008-09 FY200910 FY2010-11 FY2011-12 FY2012-13 FY2013-14 TOTAL
Category A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Category B 9 0 2 0 1 0 12
Category C 32 31 21 26 31 45 186
Category D 32 27 35 27 25 54 200
TOTAL 73 58 58 53 57 99 398

Nuclear safety events involving Nuclear Weapons:

FY2008-09 FY2009-10 FY2010-11 FY2011-12 FY2012-13 FY2013-14 TOTAL
Category A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Category B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Category C 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Category D 1 12 14 7 10 6 50
TOTAL 2 13 14 7 11 6 53

There were no Category A or Category B events involving Nuclear Weapons, nor any Category A events involving Nuclear Propulsion. The details of the twelve Category B incidents involvingNuclear Propulsion are as follows:

Date Description
11 May 2008 Low level contamination detected on the discharge pipework within the Radioactive Effluent Disposal Facility.
9 June 2008 Temporary shielding to a valve in the Reactor Compartment had been removed without correct authorisation.
27 June 2008 Inadvertent draining of onboard chemically treated water tanks into the contained submarine bilge, with no loss of water into the environment.
9 July 2008 A crane at the berth was operated in a non-standard configuration without an approved concession.
2 October 2008 Radiography Testing using a Faulty Source Mechanism.
27 October 2008 A diving operation was undertaken while the reactor was operational.
8 December 2008 Inadvertent shutting of steam valves out-with normal operating procedures.
11 February 2009 Explosives Handling Jetty (EHJ) 125 tonne crane – lifts total breached. While within the capacity of the crane, the number of lifts exceeded the agreed annual total.
20 March 2009 EHJ 125 tonne crane – lifts total breached. Following the previous incident, a concession was granted, however, this was subsequently exceeded for operational support purposes.
12 June 2010 Loss of a freeze seal during routine valve maintenance leading to a contained submarine compartment water spill, with no loss of water into the environment.
14 June 2010 Used protective suits in a double-layered plastic bag were accidentally dropped into the waters in the Base and recovered immediately. A member of staff became wet when recovering them: as a precaution, he was monitored to ensure no contamination, and was given the all clear.
17 August 2012 Inadvertent radiation dose received by contractors while conducting submarine tank defect rectification work.

HM NAVAL BASE CLYDE – NUCLEAR SAFETY EVENT REPORTING

CATEGORY DEFINITIONS

Cat Nuclear Event Consequence Description
A Actual or high potential for radioactive release to the environment or over exposure to radiation. · Major failure of Site or NuclearPropulsion/Nuclear Weapon (NP/NW) services.· Major reduction of defencein depth.· Major failure in administrative controls or regulatory compliance.
B Actual or high potential for a contained release within building or submarine or unplanned exposure to radiation.
C Moderate potential for future release or exposure, or localised release within a designated radiological controlled area. · Minor failure of Site or NP/NW services (eg with protection via defence in depth).· Minor regulatory or procedural compliance breach.
D Low potential for release – but may contribute towards an adverse trend producing latent conditions. · Poor safety culture, eg:- Failure to report shortfalls.- Communication failures.- Leadership issues.

All Written Answers – Awe, Ministry of Defence, 26 February 2015

Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrat, North Devon
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance the Atomic Weapons Establishment is receiving from the US authorities on Project Pegasus.

Philip Dunne, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 
Officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) regularly discuss a range of nuclear matters with their US counterparts under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement. These matters include aspects of the capital investment programme at AWE, of which Pegasus forms a part.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 23 February 2015

Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West 23rd February 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a list of each of the parliamentary constituencies through which nuclear warheads are transported to and from RNAD Coulport, omitting all details of travel routes, times and frequencies.

Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 23rd February 2015
It is Ministry of Defence policy not to comment on the routes used to transport nuclear weapons as to do so would prejudice national security.

Annex A of the Local Authority and Emergency Services Information document, however, lists all local authorities that Defence nuclear material, including both nuclear weapons and special nuclear material, may travel through or fly over. The document is published on the Gov.uk website at the following link: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-emergency-services-information. The corresponding list of Parliamentary constituencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 10 February 2015

Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report in the Scottish Daily Mail on 28 January, whether they have considered moving Britain’s nuclear armed submarines from Scotland to Wales.

Lord Astor of Hever (Conservative)
The UK Government is not considering moving the strategic nuclear deterrent to Wales. Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde will become the Royal Navy’s Submarine Centre of Specialisation, and home to all Royal Navy submarines by 2020.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 3 February 2015

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs); Moray, Scottish National Party)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his written statement of 20 January 2015, HCWS210, what progress has been made towards meeting the commitment made in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review to reduce the UK’s overall nuclear warhead stockpile ceiling from not more than 225 to not more than 180 by the mid 2020s.

Michael Fallon (The Secretary of State for Defence; Sevenoaks, Conservative)

As set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, we will reduce the overall stockpile of nuclear warheads to no more than 180 by the mid 2020s. The Government does not comment upon the operational programme.

All Written Answers – Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, Ministry of Defence, 3 February 2015

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs); Moray, Scottish National Party)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator’s annual assurance report for 2013 will be published; and what the reasons are for the time taken to publish that report.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)

The Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator’s (DNSR) Annual Report for 2013-14 is programmed to be published on the gov.uk website in February 2015. The report’s Executive Summary has already been published on gov.uk as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Annual Assurance Report for Financial Year 2013-14, and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368727/20141020-MOD-AnnualHS-EP-AssuranceReport-2013-14-FINAL-U.pdf

All Written Answers – Trident, Ministry of Defence, 2 February 2015

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs); Moray, Scottish National Party)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the year-on-year future spending on the development phase of the replacement for Trident.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)

As stated in the UK Future Nuclear Deterrent 2014 Update to Parliament, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is more than halfway through a five year, £3.3 billion, Assessment Phase for the Successor submarine programme.

To the end of financial year 2013-14, a total of £1,243 million has been spent on this Assessment Phase. The MOD expects to commit around a further £2 billion before a Main Gate investment decision in 2016.

Estimated spending for individual years is being withheld as it relates to the formulation of Government policy and release would prejudice commercial interests.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 26 January 2015

Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs); Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library the most recent version of the Defence Nuclear Executive Board’s Risk Register for the Nuclear Programme.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
This information is being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

All Written Ministerial Statements – Nuclear Deterrent, Ministry of Defence, 20 January 2015

Michael Fallon (The Secretary of State for Defence; Sevenoaks, Conservative)

As part of his statement on the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) on 19 October 2010, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that we had reviewed our nuclear deterrence requirements. He concluded that we could deliver a credible nuclear deterrent with a smaller nuclear weapons capability and would incorporate these reductions into the current deployed capability and the future successor deterrent programme. The number of deployed warheads on each submarine would be reduced from 48 to 40; the number of operational missiles in the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) would be reduced to no more than eight; and we would reduce the number of operationally available warheads from fewer than 160 to no more than 120.

The then Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Liam Fox, announced to the House on 29 June 2011, Hansard, columns 50-51WS, that the programme for implementing the 2010 SDSR warhead reductions had commenced.

I am pleased to inform the House that this Government have now met their commitment to implement these changes across the SSBN fleet. All Vanguard class SSBNs on continuous at-sea deterrent patrol now carry 40 nuclear warheads and no more than eight operational missiles. We have therefore achieved our commitment to reduce the number of operationally available warheads to no more than 120.

The nuclear deterrent remains to serve as the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threats. The Government continue to plan to renew the UK’s independent strategic nuclear deterrent, though the Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. A “Main Gate” investment decision will be required in 2016 to replace the four Vanguard class SSBNs currently in service. At the same time, as a responsible nuclear weapon state and party to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) the UK remains committed to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.

The completion of these reductions is a key milestone, demonstrating the UK’s continued leadership within the NPT.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Submarines: Decommissioning, Ministry of Defence, 16 January 2015

Thomas Docherty (Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons; Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Written Statement of 13 January 2015, HCWS183, by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, on Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, whether he expects any changes to the programme for the Submarine Dismantling Project as a result of changes announced to NDA Management at Sellafield.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
There will be no changes to the programme of the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) as a result of changes announced to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s management at Sellafield.

The assessment of each shortlisted site for the interim storage of Intermediate Level radioactive Waste arising from the SDP will take account of the site operator’s ability to meet and deliver the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) requirement. The site assessment work is at an early stage; no decision has been made as to the final interim storage location.

The MOD will continue to work closely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on the SDP.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Submarines, Ministry of Defence, 14 January 2015

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support was provided for travel and overnight accommodation for stakeholders invited to the two national workshops held in January 2015 in Birmingham and Glasgow as part of the public consultation on an interim submarine nuclear reactor pressure vessel storage site; what the total cost to the public purse was of those workshops; and what fee was paid to the consultancy Instinctif for organising those workshops.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
For the national events held in Birmingham and Glasgow, travel and subsistence expenses totalling £1,240 are expected to be paid to attendees. Those receiving expenses are individuals or groups with specialist knowledge or a particular interest in the project, including members of the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group.

The approximate total cost of the Birmingham event was £23,020 and the Glasgow event was £25,670. This included the cost of venue hire; catering; staff and stakeholder travel and subsistence; and a fee of £12,950 per event to organisers Instinctif.

All Written Answers – HMS Vengeance, Ministry of Defence, 13 January 2015

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on which dates in 2014 HMS Vengeance was berthed at the Devonport dockyard undergoing refurbishment; and what particular refit was being carried out during that time by Babcock Marine on behalf on his Department.

Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
HMS Vengeance has been undergoing a Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) in Devonport Dockyard since March 2012. During this period she was docked from 16 April 2012 to 18 December 2014 and berthed from 18 December 2014 to 31 December 2014 following a successful “flood up”.

During 2014, HMS Vengeance has had a major overhaul of equipment, including capability upgrades, to underwrite operational service for a further 10 year commission. This has included the refuelling of the nuclear reactor, which was completed in April 2014.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 5 January 2015

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish either as excerpts or in full official analysis of the destructive effect of the detonation of those UK nuclear warheads which were in service before the current Trident warhead.

Michael Fallon (The Secretary of State for Defence; Sevenoaks, Conservative)
No. This information remains highly classified for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 5 January 2015

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2014 to Question 217946, for what reasons publishing an analysis of the effects of a UK nuclear weapon would prejudice the defence of the UK.

Michael Fallon (The Secretary of State for Defence; Sevenoaks, Conservative)
Providing details of the possible effects of the UK’s Trident system would enable deductions to be made that could prejudice national security and would or would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and other States.

All Written Answers – Nuclear Weapons, Ministry of Defence, 5 January 2015

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will commission and publish a report on the likely effect of a UK Trident warhead in time to allow this report to be presented at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in a level of detail that corresponds with maintaining national security.

Michael Fallon (The Secretary of State for Defence; Sevenoaks, Conservative)
No, I will not.