Ministry Of Defence

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Devonport Dockyard – 20 December 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected cost is of the Future Nuclear Facilities programme for refurbishing the submarine refit complex at Devonport Dockyard.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow, Conservative)
The total estimated cost of the Future Nuclear Facilities programme for refurbishing the submarine refit complex at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport is £243 million, which provides the capability to defuel the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class nuclear-powered attack submarines, and enables the ongoing deep maintenance of the Trafalgar class and, in time, the Astute class nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Radioactive Materials – 20 December 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on the purchase of special nuclear materials in each of the last 10 years.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow, Conservative)
The Ministry of Defence has not purchased any special nuclear materials in the last 10 years.

Update – Ministry of Defence – UK’s Future Nuclear Deterrent – 19 December 2012

Phillip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
On 18 May 2011, my predecessor, my right hon. Friend Dr Fox made an oral statement to the House, Hansard column 351 and published “The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate Parliamentary Report”. Since then my ministerial colleagues and I have undertaken to provide an annual update on the programme. As we reach the end of 2012, I have today published “The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: 2012 Update to Parliament” and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 21 November 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff were (a) employed and (b) consulted on the production of the 2006 White Paper entitled The Future of the UK Independent Nuclear Deterrent.

Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire, Conservative)
The 2006 White Paper entitled The Future of the UK Independent Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) was produced by the Deterrent Options Policy Group, which consisted of around 10 people. This group consulted widely within the Ministry of Defence, other Government Departments and the wider stakeholder community.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 19 November 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of the Trident missile test launch in the Atlantic ocean on 23 October 2012.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow, Conservative)
The test launch of a Trident missile in the Atlantic ocean on 23 October 2012 took place as part of the Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) for HMS Vigilant. The cost of the test launch cannot be disaggregated from the overall cost of the DASO.

A DASO is critical for demonstrating the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. It comprises a comprehensive series of system and sub-system tests, and provides a period of intensive training for the submarine’s crew. It evaluates the complete weapon system, including crew performance, and concludes with an unarmed Trident missile firing. The resultant data underwrites both UK and US system assurance. Following HMS Vigilant’s long overhaul period (refuel), the DASO was conducted as a routine operation before the submarine re-enters service. Prior to the test firing from HMS Vigilant, the most recent UK DASO was completed by HMS Victorious in 2009.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 07 November 2012

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on the maintenance, operation and re-fitting of Trident submarines in each of the last 10 years.

Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
The costs of maintenance, operation and refitting of the Vanguard class submarines are one part of the wider costs of maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

It is not possible to provide full costs for the Vanguard class for the whole of the last 10 years as some of the information is not held in the format requested, and some is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 06 November 2012

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it remains his policy that the development costs of the replacement for Trident will be met from the core defence budget.

Andrew Robathan (South Leicestershire, Conservative)
I refer the right hon. Member to the Statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Mr Hammond, on 14 May 2012, Hansard, column 263, in which he stated that the successor nuclear deterrent is included within the core programme.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 15 October 2012

John Spellar (Warley, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Minister in his Department is responsible for the review of the future of the UK nuclear deterrent.

Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
There is no review being conducted on the future of the UK nuclear deterrent. The Government’s policy remains as I set out on 18 June 2012, Hansard, column 611, that the Vanguard class submarines will be replaced at the end of their lives in the late 2020s/early 2030s by a successor submarine carrying the Trident missile, subject to main gate investment approval for the project in 2016.

The Trident Alternatives Review being led by the Cabinet Office, aims to assist the Liberal Democrats in assessing the case for any alternative systems that could maintain a credible nuclear deterrent at lower cost. Ministerial oversight will be provided by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 15 October 2012

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Minister in his Department is responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review due to report in the autumn.

Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
holding answer 10 September 2012

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by Sir Nick Harvey on 26 March 2012, Hansard, column 957W, in which he stated that the Trident Alternatives Review is expected to report to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at the end of the year.

The Trident Alternatives Review continues to be led by the Cabinet Office, aims to assist the Liberal Democrats in assessing the case for any alternative systems that could maintain a credible nuclear deterrent at lower cost. Ministerial oversight will be provided by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Iran – 17 September 2012

Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has had discussions with his US counterpart on military action in Iran.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
holding answer 12 September 2012

I regularly discuss a range of security issues with my United States counterparts; however the UK continues to work with the US and other countries to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), on 20 February 2012, Hansard, column 654, in which he said that we wish to see a peaceful, negotiated diplomatic settlement to the Iranian nuclear crisis, by which Iran gives the world confidence that it is not developing and will not develop nuclear weapons. All our efforts are devoted towards such a peaceful resolution through a twin track strategy of engagement and pressure, although we are clear that all options for addressing the issue remain on the table.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Air Misses – 10 September 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what near miss incidents involving military aircraft and (a) UK nuclear installations and (b) critical national infrastructure were reported to his Department in each year since May 2004; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on each such incident.

Andrew Robathan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans), Defence; South Leicestershire, Conservative)
We do not hold information in the form requested.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 07 September 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on long lead orders for Trident replacement submarines and nuclear weapons since May 2010.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
To date, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has spent £17.033 million on long lead items for the successor submarines. This spend is associated with the development of the Pressurised Water Reactor 3 plant to be used in the submarines.

The MOD has not spent any money on long lead items for nuclear weapons. The Strategic Defence and Security Review determined that a replacement warhead would not be required until the 2030s. Therefore the decision to refurbish or replace the existing warhead will not be required until the next Parliament.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Weapons Research – 03 September 2012

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which universities receive funding for research commissioned by the Atomic Weapons Establishment; and what the nature is of such funded research.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
I will write to the hon. Member once the information has been collated.

Substantive answer from Gerald Howarth to Angus Robertson:

In his written answer to your Parliamentary Question on 10 July 2012 (Official Report, column 199W), Peter Luff promised to write to you confirming which universities receive funding for research commissioned by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE); and what the nature is of such funded research. I am now in a position to provide you with a substantive answer.

The following universities received funding for research commissioned by AWE in the financial year 2011-2012:

Cranfield University;

Heriot-Watt University;

Imperial College (including Imperial College Consultants Ltd);

Keele University;

Loughborough University;

Queens University Belfast;

University College London;

University of Bath;

University of Bristol;

University of Cambridge;

University of Edinburgh;

University of Leeds;

University of Leicester;

University of Liverpool;

University of Manchester;

University of Oxford;

University of Portsmouth Higher Education Corporation;

University of Reading;

University of Salford;

University of Southampton;

University of Strathclyde;

University of Surrey;

University of Warwick;

University of York; and

University Court of the University Of St Andrews.

The nature of the research undertaken by the universities falls within the following areas:

Physics, which includes numerical modelling, uncertainty analysis, computational fluid dynamics, shock physics, plasma physics and solid mechanics;

Materials science, ranging from chemical synthesis of polymers and adhesives through to properties of energetics (explosives), metallurgy, computational chemistry and nuclear materials;

High performance computing focusing on the development of computer algorithms and future energy efficient computing platforms; and

Engineering and manufacturing, which includes developing sensor technologies, electronic components and integrated circuits both for experimental and project use.

In addition, AWE also commission academic involvement in the areas of nuclear detection techniques and nuclear forensics.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Weapons – 03 September 2012

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of the nuclear deterrent programme in the last year.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)

As stated in the White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) published in December 2006, the in-service costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent are around 5% of the defence budget. This is expected to remain the case during the current spending review period, which covers the financial years 2011-12 to 2014-15.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 17 July 2012

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the First Minister of Wales and Welsh Assembly Government on the relocation of the Trident nuclear weapons system to Milford Haven.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
I have not received any official representations from the First Minister of Wales or the Welsh Assembly Government regarding the basing in Wales of the nuclear deterrent fleet. The UK is not making plans for Scottish independence and is not making plans to move the nuclear deterrent or other submarines from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde. The UK Government position is clear: Scotland benefits from being part of the UK and the UK benefits from having Scotland within it.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 17 July 2012

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) missile tube training facilities and (b) nuclear transport vehicles of each equipment type are permanently based in each location in Scotland.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The Trident Training Facility at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde, Faslane, which includes the Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) Coulport, is the only missile tube training facility in Scotland.

The only nuclear transport vehicles permanently based in Scotland are the 11 Re-entry Body Assembly Intra-facility Transporters, which are used for the movement of assets only within the RNAD Coulport.

Written Answers – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Weapons – 16 July 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with the French Ministry of Defence on the possible location of UK nuclear weapons in French bases or use of French facilities in the future.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
holding answer 12 July 2012

Officials in the Ministry of Defence have had no discussions with colleagues in the French Ministry of Defence on the possible location of UK nuclear weapons in French bases.

The Teutates Treaty of 2010 enables the construction and use of shared UK- French facilities at Valduc in France. The treaty allows experiments supporting the performance and safety of our nuclear deterrent, although there will be no physical movement of warheads between the two nations and each country will retain sovereignty over its own experiments and data.

Oral Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Middle East – 16 July 2012

Robert Halfon (Harlow, Conservative)
What recent assessment he has made of the defence situation in the middle east; and if he will make a statement.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
Demands for greater political, social and economic participation continue in the middle east and north Africa. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and we are supporting efforts to deliver a political solution to the conflict. The UK also remains concerned over Iran’s nuclear programme and continues to work with other countries to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. On that basis, we assess that the regional security situation will remain fragile.

Robert Halfon (Harlow, Conservative)
As the security situation in the Sinai peninsula deteriorates, weapons bound for Gaza’s terrorists are being freely smuggled, and two cross-border terror attacks have left nine Israelis dead. What assessment have the Government made of the Egyptian authorities’ efforts to tackle the security threat emanating from this no man’s land?

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The Government remain concerned about the security situation in Sinai and we regularly raise it with the Egyptian authorities. There continue to be credible reports of significant quantities of weapons—particularly rockets—being smuggled into Gaza. The UK recognises that Israel has legitimate security concerns and that the people of Gaza are suffering at the moment, which does not serve Israel’s long-term security interests.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
The Minister will be aware that the last nuclear non-proliferation review conference agreed on a strategy of a nuclear weapons-free middle east and that, because Israel is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, a special conference, hosted by the Finnish Government, will be held in Helsinki at the end of this year. Will he assure the House that the British Government remain fully behind the process, will be represented at that conference and will do their best to ensure that both Israel and Iran are also present, to bring about a nuclear weapons-free region?

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
We continue to support that initiative, and I assure the hon. Gentleman that we will be represented at that conference. We would like it to make progress, but we do not underestimate the inherent challenge.

Menzies Campbell (North East Fife, Liberal Democrat)
My hon. Friend has already indicated by his answers that there is an inextricable link between the military and political situations in the middle east. It is also the case that there is still consideration—the possibility—of a strike by Israel against Iran. Have my hon. Friend and the Government made any assessment of the political fallout of such a strike?

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The Government remain committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and we continue to work with international allies and others around the world to try to bring it about. We stand ready to help the international community in the event of any general security deterioration in the region, but it is important above all else that we find an international solution to what is a very tricky problem.

Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway, Labour)
Within the last 24 hours, the International Committee of the Red Cross has stated that the situation in Syria has now developed into a civil war. What are the implications for us of such a statement, and has the Secretary of State spoken with his US or any other NATO counterparts about what practical measures need to be taken to alleviate the pain and suffering of the Syrian people?

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The Foreign Office is in constant dialogue with international communities and our allies about the grave situation in Syria. Nobody underestimates the difficulty that will be involved in trying to secure any international consensus in favour of action there. The recent events that we have seen are deeply shocking. The Government want to see an end to violence and an orderly transition to a more representative form of government, but the efforts being made so far are certainly hitting a lot of obstacles.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Submarines – 16 July 2012

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with Rolls-Royce on its facilities being developed as part of the refurbishment of its Raynesway plant that are specific for the PWR3 reactor for the Trident replacement submarines.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
Ministers meet with a range of defence contractors, including Rolls-Royce, to discuss a wide range of issues. Details of all ministerial meetings with external organisations, including companies from the defence sector, are published in the Ministry of Defence’s quarterly transparency returns as required by the Government’s Transparency Agenda. The following website address provides the latest published returns:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/FinancialReports/Expenses/MinistersHospitalityReceived.htm

Copies of the relevant returns will be placed in the Library of the House. Meetings during the period January to March 2012 will be published in due course.

I am withholding further details of the discussions with Rolls-Royce, as their release would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Weapons – 13 July 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts his Department has entered into in respect of the replacement of the Trident missile system; on what date each such contract was entered into; what the nature of the goods or services received is; what the cost is; and what the termination date is in each case.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
holding answer 12 July 2012

The Trident D5 missile is expected to remain in service until the 2040s, and we do not anticipate decisions on a replacement being required during the life of this Parliament. No contracts have therefore been placed. The potential cost of a replacement missile remains as published in the 2006 White Paper (CM6994) ‘The Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent’. A copy is available in the Library of the House.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs his Department has incurred on preparations for Trident replacement ahead of a Parliamentary decision in 2016; how much of the cost incurred was spent on (a) submarine and (b) warhead replacement; and what expenditure he expects in the next three financial years.

Nick Harvey
holding answer 12 July 2012
As detailed in ‘The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate Parliamentary Report’ (May 2011), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) spent around £900 million on the concept phase of the Successor submarine programme, and we expect expenditure on the assessment phase to total £3 billion. Of this, the planned expenditure on the submarine replacement programme is expected to be £431 million in 2012-13, £486 million in 2013-14 and £595 million in 2014-15.

As the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), announced to the House on 14 May 2012., Official Report, column 20WS, the MOD is maintaining the existing warhead for as long as necessary, and ensuring that the capability to design and manufacture a replacement warhead, should that be necessary, is maintained. The decision to refurbish or replace the existing warhead will be made in the next Parliament. Studies informing such a decision are expected to amount to some £12 million per annum in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and £16 million in 2014-15. This expenditure forms part of the programme of investment at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Submarines: Wales – 13 July 2012

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has received any official representations from the Welsh Government on the relocation of nuclear submarines to Wales.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
I have not received any official representations from the Welsh Government regarding the basing in Wales of the nuclear submarine fleet. The UK is not making plans for Scottish independence and is not making plans to move the nuclear deterrent or other submarines from HM Naval Base Clyde.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Weapons

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether a nuclear weapons convention would be a viable option to promote nuclear non-proliferation.

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
The UK Government is committed to the long-term objective of a world without nuclear weapons and has pledged to press for multilateral disarmament. We believe our immediate disarmament priorities must be to reach consensus on the entry into force of the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, and the start of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.

Until the necessary political and security conditions are in place, attempts to establish a nuclear weapons convention would risk diverting political capital and resources away from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty—which we believe is the best vehicle we have for promoting nuclear non-proliferation and creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Submarines – 10 July 2012

Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) whether the reactor for the seventh Astute class submarine can be completed at existing facilities at the Rolls Royce Raynesway plant;

(2) whether redevelopment of the Rolls Royce Reynesway plant will take place regardless of the 2016 Main Gate decision on Trident replacement.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
All of the Royal Navy’s nuclear reactor cores have been manufactured at the Rolls-Royce Raynesway site. After more than 50 years of service, the existing facilities at Raynesway have come to the end of their economic life and a regeneration of the Raynesway site is required to ensure the facilities continue to meet the safety standards set by the Office of Nuclear Regulation. Regeneration of the site has been planned to ensure the delivery of the full planned Astute submarine fleet in line with current requirements.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Nuclear Submarines – 10 July 2012

Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects manufacturing of the reactor for the first successor to the Vanguard class submarine to commence.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

The manufacture of the reactor core for the first Successor submarine is planned to commence shortly after the Successor Main Gate decision in 2016.

Written Answers to Questions – Ministry of Defence – Trident – 09 July 2012

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Plaid Cymru)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) direct and (b) indirect civilian jobs in (i) Scotland and (ii) the rest of the UK rely upon the Trident programme.


Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)

holding answer 26 June 2012

It is not Government policy to compile statistics related to defence spend on equipment or employment in UK regions.

However, I am able to provide a broad indication of the extent of employment throughout the UK, which is reliant on the Trident programme by outlining the key locations concerned.

I can confirm that some 6,300 defence jobs are based at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde. This base comprises the naval base at Faslane and the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) at Coulport. The naval base is the home to a range of Royal Navy ships and submarines including the Vanguard class submarines which carry the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent. RNAD Coulport is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of the Trident weapon system. As well as a high proportion of Ministry of Defence civilian and Royal Navy personnel, the jobs at the naval base include contractors from Babcock, Lockheed Martin UK and Rolls-Royce.

Also in Scotland, the work undertaken by Rolls-Royce in respect of nuclear reactors at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment, Dounreay, also supports the Trident programme and other nuclear-powered submarines.

For the rest of the UK, four key suppliers directly support the delivery of the Trident programme. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) managed and operated by AWE Management Limited is based in Aldermaston and Burghfield; BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines at Barrow-in-Furness; Babcock at Devonport; and Rolls-Royce at Raynesway, Derby.

The ability of these key areas, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK, to deliver their programmes depends heavily on an extensive network of sub-contractors who are working indirectly in support of the Trident programme.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Nuclear Powered Submarines, 18 June 2012

Philip Hammond (Secretary of State, Transport; Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Defence has signed a contract, worth approximately £1.1 billion, with Rolls-Royce Power Engineering for an 11-year programme of work at its nuclear reactor core facility in Raynesway, Derby, including a major programme of site regeneration to replace facilities that have reached the end of their life.

Treaty obligations and security considerations necessitate the maintenance of an indigenous reactor core production capability to support the UK’s nuclear submarine flotilla.

Starting with the first UK nuclear submarine, HMS Dreadnought, all the Royal Navy’snuclear reactor cores have been manufactured at the Rolls-Royce Raynesway site. After more than 50 years of service, the existing facilities at Raynesway have come to the end of their economic life and a regeneration of the Raynesway site is required to ensure the facilities continue to meet the safety standards set by the Office of Nuclear Regulation.

The site regeneration will cost approximately £500 million and involve the progressive demolition of the existing buildings and their replacement with new facilities on the same site.

The remaining £600 million will sustain reactor core production at the facility until March 2023. This will include production of reactor cores for the Astute class and the next generation nuclear deterrent Successor SSBN submarines if approved. This reflects the decisions taken in the strategic defence and security review and the parliamentary report “The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate”. The contract has an initial pricing period aligned with the Successor SSBN Main Gate.

These contracts will allow us to maintain this vital capability that underpins the nation’s long-term security, and will secure 300 jobs at Rolls-Royce.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Awe, 11 June 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) how much was spent by the Atomic Weapons Establishment on research by UK universities in each of the last three years;

(2) whether research undertaken on behalf of the Atomic Weapons Establishment in UK universities is funded through his Department’s Management and Operation contract.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

The majority of the research and development work undertaken on behalf of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at UK universities is funded via the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Management and Operations contract with AWE. In addition to this funding there is a short term agreement, jointly funded by the MOD, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, for enhanced detection and nuclear forensics work of which a proportion of the agreement funds work undertaken in UK universities.

AWE has spent between £8 million and £9 million on payments to UK universities for research and development work undertaken on their behalf in each of the past three financial years. In addition, following an agreement reached earlier this year, approximately £1 million over a four year period will be paid to UK universities for work undertaken in respect of detection and nuclear forensics.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Awe, 11 June 2012

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Atomic Weapons Establishment and his Department have conducted a Review, Learn, and Improve analysis of the decision to cancel Project Hydrus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Nuclear Weapons Capability Sustainment Programme (NWCSP) which included Project Hydrus is kept under regular review. For example, there was an internal Ministry of Defence (MOD) review held in 2010 which informed theStrategic Defence and Security Review, a HM Treasury Major Project Review in 2011 and a further Major Project Review currently under way with an HM Treasury Panel meeting planned for 13 June 2012. Since the decision to cancel Project Hydrus, neither the Atomic Weapons Establishment nor the MOD have conducted a specific Review, Learn, and Improve analysis of the decision to cancel Project Hydrus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Awe, 11 June 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the US Y-12 National Security complex on co-operation and exchange of information on AWE’s enriched uranium facility and Y-12’s uranium processing facility.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
Information on nuclear weapons and propulsion matters is exchanged under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement Treaty (MDA) between the UK and the USA.

There is no specific Memorandum of Agreement between the Atomic Weapons Establishment and the US Y-12 National Security Complex on co-operation and exchange of information on uranium facilities.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Awe, 11 June 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many representatives of the US administration are permanently stationed at (a) the Atomic Weapons Establishment and (b) his Department’s Strategic Systems Executive.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
There are no representatives from the US administration permanently stationed at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

The Polaris Sales Agreement 1963, as modified in 1982, mandates that both the UK and US have liaison representatives in support of their nuclear weapons programmes in each other’s nations. In the UK Ministry of Defence, the Chief Strategic Systems Executive area has one US Navy Commander as the US liaison officer, who is assisted by four civilians from the US Department of the Navy.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Nuclear Weapons, 11 June 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the safety case for the road transport of nuclear weapons was last amended and approved.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Transport Operational Safety Case for the Truck Cargo Heavy Duty Mark 3 (TCHD Mk3) vehicle for the road transportation of Defence Nuclear Material was approved on 21 July 2011; the vehicle entered into service shortly afterwards. This was the first Transport Operational Safety Case written for the TCHD Mk3 vehicle and has not required an amendment since its approval.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Nuclear Weapons, 11 June 2012

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the safety case for the road transport of nuclear weapons was last amended and approved.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Transport Operational Safety Case for the Truck Cargo Heavy Duty Mark 3 (TCHD Mk3) vehicle for the road transportation of Defence Nuclear Material was approved on 21 July 2011; the vehicle entered into service shortly afterwards. This was the first Transport Operational Safety Case written for the TCHD Mk3 vehicle and has not required an amendment since its approval.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Trident, 11 June 2012

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total projected cost is of the Trident renewal programme; and whether this is included in his Department’s committed core equipment programme.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Initial Gate parliamentary report, published on 18 May 2011, laid out the costs of the nuclear successor programme and confirmed that the programme remains within the 2006 White Paper costs of £11-14 billion in 2006-07 prices. The Ministry of Defence has since committed to provide an annual report to Parliament on costs and progress of the project, with the first report due shortly. The Successor submarine programme is included within the core equipment programme.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Nimrod Aircraft, 23 May 2012

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has assessed any implications arising from the Haddon Cave report on the loss of the Nimrod Xv230 for the safety management of Royal Navy (a) Vanguard class and (b)other submarines.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has encouraged all those involved in the submarine programme to consider the implications of Haddon-Cave’s findings and recommendations for their own safety management arrangements. In common with Defence as a whole, the submarine programme is adopting a more rigorous approach to the recognition of safety duty holders. In another significant development, there has been an improvement in MOD regulation of safety through the creation of the Defence Safety and Environment Authority, within which the Defence Maritime Regulator and the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator have specific remits for the submarine programme. This is consistent with the creation of the Military Aviation Authority as directly recommended by Haddon-Cave.

Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Successor Submarine Programme, 22 May 2012

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Defence(MOD) has signed contracts, worth approximately £350 million (excluding VAT), for the first 18 months of work on the assessment phase of the Successor submarine programme.

The Successor submarine programme will deliver the replacement for the Vanguard class submarines that carry the UK’s strategicnuclear deterrent. Hon. Members will recall that, my right hon. Friend Dr Fox, the then Defence Secretary, announced to the House on18 May 2011, Hansard, columns 351-53 that the programme had obtained its initial gate approval and was commencing its assessment phase leading up to main gate consideration in 2016.

The assessment phase is expected to cost some £3 billion in total, and focuses on design and engineering activities, the purchase of long lead items, preparation for production, technology development, information and knowledge management, and project management. These latest contracts are part of that investment.

To deliver the assessment phase effectively, the MOD has signed a collaborative agreement with the three key suppliers in the UK submarine industry: BAE Systems Maritime—Submarines, Rolls-Royce and Babcock. We have also signed contracts with these companies, which include the first 18 months of assessment phase activities, as the start of a rolling programme of work.

The highest value contract is with BAE Systems Maritime—Submarines: it is worth around £328 million and covers submarine design. The contract with Babcock is worth around £15 million and covers the design aspects of in-service support. In addition a contract amendment with Rolls-Royce has been placed and is worth around £4 million for Successor design work.

These contracts, along with our continued commitment to the Astute submarine programme, will sustain thousands of jobs across the UK submarine industry, and will allow us to maintain this vital capability that underpins the nation’s long-term security.


Written Ministerial statement, Defence: Atomic Weapons Establishment, 14 May 2012

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
I should like to provide an update to the House regarding the continuing programme of investment at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

On 3 April 2012 an agreement was reached between the Ministry of Defence and AWE Management Limited (AWEML) to continue the priced period of work, within the existing overarching 25-year contract with the company, to 31 March 2018. This agreement, providing important investment in skills and facilities at AWE, is valued at an average of around £1 billion per annum with approximately 40% to be invested in capital projects.

This arrangement, and the continuing need for investment in skills and facilities at AWE, is in accordance with the December 2006 White Paper “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) and the “Defence Plan 2008-2012” (Cm 7385). The programme of investment is continuing both to ensure we can maintain our existing nuclear warhead in service for as long as necessary, and to ensure we retain the capability to design and manufacture a replacement warhead should that be necessary.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Trident, 16 April 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Trident Alternatives Review being conducted by his Department will consider alternative basing locations for the nuclear deterrent fleet.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
It will not.

As a separate point of clarification, the Trident Alternatives Review is led by officials in the Cabinet Office under my oversight, with support from the Ministry of Defence and other Departments.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Trident, 16 April 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was in the current spending round of the maintenance of Trident and all aspects of preparation for its successor.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
As stated in the White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm 6994), published in December 2006, the costs of maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent are around 5% of the defence budget. This is expected to remain the case during the current comprehensive spending review (CSR) period, which covers the financial years 2011-12 to 2014-15.

The assessment phase of the programme to replace the Vanguard class submarines started in February 2011 and will continue through to Main Gate approval in 2016. As noted in the parliamentary report ‘The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate’, published in May 2011, we expect to spend £3 billion on the assessment phase.

I am withholding further information on expenditure during the CSR period at this time, as this would be likely to prejudice commercial interests and the development of Government policy.

Ministerial Statement, Defence: Nuclear Security Summit, 26 March 2012

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
Along with the US and France, the UK aims to raise the profile of nuclear security on the international agenda. In the interests of increasing transparency, we have decided to release more information about our own capabilities. This includes our ability to respond to terrorist incidents involving nuclear or radiological material, and to improve international standards for the security of nuclear material.

The following statement will be released today at the nuclear security summit in Seoul:

“The governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and French Republic each understand the threat of nuclear terrorism and share the collective responsibility to inform and strengthen international measures designed to secure sensitive information, technology or nuclear material from access by terrorists and to encourage the development of appropriate emergency response measures. In recognition of these shared principles, consistent with our rights and obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, our three governments are taking the following initial steps:

INFCIRC/225/Rev.5 recognises that nuclear security protection levels are critically dependent upon the attractiveness of nuclear materials to potential adversaries with intent to assemble a nuclear explosive device. We will actively engage in international workshops to address graded approaches for the characterisation of nuclear material attractiveness to further enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of physical protection measures.

We have the specialised knowledge and capability to diagnose, render safe, characterise and dispose of a nuclear terrorist threat device. We each have a focused effort to continually enhance the technical capabilities of our emergency detection and response assets to any such threat. As such we will seek, wherever possible, to engage with the international community to further strengthen worldwide preparedness to contend with the threat of nuclear terrorism.”

Written answers to questions, Defence: Trident, 26 March 2012

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the study on alternatives to Trident to be completed.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The Trident alternatives review is expected to report to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at the end of this year.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Iran: Military Intervention, 6 March 2012

Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to seek the approval of Parliament before allowing the use of US bases in the UK by the (a) US Administration and (b) governments of other countries to launch military strikes against targets in Iran.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
The UK continues to work with other countries to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We want a negotiated solution, not a military one, but all options should be kept open.

The potential use by US forces of bases in the UK would be a matter for joint decision by the two Governments in light of the circumstances prevailing at the time. The Government have made clear in the Cabinet Manual their intention to abide by the convention that before the commitment of UK forces to military action, Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the matter.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Nuclear Submarines, 22 February 2012

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) what estimate he has made of the cost of establishing new facilities for the arming of nuclear submarines due to (a) a change in Government policy after a referendum in Scotland and (b) a major incident which disables existing facilities;

(2) at how many sites nuclear submarines can be armed in addition to existing bases.

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely cost of relocating the facilities and functions of the Royal Armaments Depot at Coulport to another part of the UK.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
holding answer 19 January 2012

The Government are clear that Scotland benefits from being part of the UK and that the UK benefits from having Scotland within it. The Government are not making plans for independence as we are confident that the people of Scotland will continue to support the Union in any referendum.

No detailed work has therefore been undertaken to estimate the cost of setting up new facilities for the arming of nuclear submarines or for relocating the Royal Armaments Naval Depot at Coulport to another part of the UK. It is clear from first principles, however, that the cost of relocating such families from Scotland would be extremely high.

Information regarding the number of sites at which nuclear submarines can be armed, in addition to existing bases, is being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Nuclear Weapons: Security, 21 February 2012

Gemma Doyle (West Dunbartonshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department is undertaking any review of arrangements for the security or protection of defence nuclear materials.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
Our nuclear security arrangements are kept under continual review and frequently tested. We do not comment on the detailed arrangements for the security or protection of defence nuclear materials.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Trident Submarines, 20 February 2012

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the financial effect of (a) retaining, (b) replacing and (c) disposing of (i) the Vanguard-clan fleet of submarines and (ii) Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
As stated in the White Paper, “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) published in December 2006, the in-service costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent are around 5% of the defence budget.

The White Paper also stated that the expected cost of replacing the submarine, warhead and infrastructure is £15 to £20 billion (at 2006 constant prices), of which £11 to £14 billion is for the replacement submarine. As noted in the Parliamentary Report “The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate”, published in May 2011, we assess that these estimates are still accurate.

The costs of disposing of the Vanguard class submarines fall within the costs of the Ministry of Defence’s Submarine Dismantling Project. It is not possible at this stage of the project, however, to separate out the costs of disposing of the Vanguard class from the overall cost of the project. We do not hold estimates for the disposal costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent as a whole.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Trident Missiles, 30 January 2012

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what annual service fees are paid to the US Administration for the storage and reprocessing of Trident missiles at the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, Kings Bay, Georgia.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
Under the Polaris Sales Agreement as amended for Trident, the UK pays the US Department of Defence an annual contribution towards the overall cost of the US Navy’s Strategic Weapons Facility at Kings Bay, Georgia.

This contribution, which includes storage and reprocessing work, is based on the UK’s share of the overall missile inventory, and amounts to around £12 million a year.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Nuclear Submarines, 30 January 2012

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) which locations are being considered as an alternative operating base for the Vanguard class SSBN submarines;

(2) what criteria his Department plans to use to evaluate future locations for the operating base of Vanguard class SSBN submarines;

(3) which Royal Navy sites are equipped to become the operating base of Vanguard class SSBN submarines;

(4) if he will estimate the likely cost of developing a new operating base for the Vanguard class SSBN submarines.

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of moving (a) T class and (b) Astute class submarines to Plymouth.

Oliver Colvile (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has made plans for the base porting of Royal Navy nuclear submarines in the case of future independence of Scotland and Scotland becoming a nuclear-free zone.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the possibility of Scottish independence, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of moving Vanguard class SSBN submarines from Faslane to Devonport.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Ministry of Defence is not making plans to change the base ports of those classes of submarines currently base-ported at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde. The Department does not therefore hold cost estimates or other information that would relate to such changes.

The Government are clear that Scotland benefits from being part of the UK and the UK benefits from having Scotland within it. The Government are not making plans for independence as we are confident that people in Scotland will continue to support the Union in any referendum.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Submarines, 24 January 2012

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the Royal Navy’s requirement for (a) numbers and (b) types of submarines to be available for operations in the next 10 years.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Royal Navy’s requirement for submarines was assessed during the strategic defence and security review. Over the next 10 years we plan to maintain a fleet of four Vanguard class ballistic-missile submarines delivering the strategic nuclear deterrent, and a fleet of seven nuclear attack submarines consisting of a mixture of Trafalgar class boats and the new Astute class boats which are replacing them.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Arms Trade, 10 January 2012

Ivan Lewis (Bury South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department’s officials at each grade are working on the arms trade treaty negotiations; whether there has been any change in the personnel leading on this matter; and whether he expects any further changes to be made before July 2012.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
Two officials from the Department’s Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation branch cover arms trade treaty issues and are active members of the cross-Whitehall team which is led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These

officials are able to call upon other specialist advice from within the Department as required. There have been no changes to the personnel leading on this matter since June 2011 and it is not expected that there will be any changes to personnel before July 2012.

Written answers to questions, Defence: Arms Trade, 10 January 2012

Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which representatives from his Department have attended each of the UN Preparatory Committee meetings for the international arms trade treaty; and which representatives from his Department will attend the meeting in February 2012.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
Representatives from the Department’s Arms Control and Counter Proliferation branch have attended previous preparatory committee meetings on the arms trade treaty. The exact size and make-up of the UK delegation for the preparatory committee meeting in February 2012 will be finalised shortly.