Nuclear power

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Plea for Devonport's submarines to be recycled

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

MPs are calling for the recycling of old Royal Navy nuclear submarines, including 13 currently tied up at Devonport.

Another seven are in long-term storage at Rosyth in Scotland.

Over the next 20 years another seven nuclear submarines are due to come out of service.

The oldest one in Devonport is HMS Valiant which is 54 years old, having been launched in 1963 at the height of the Cold War.


The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency is currently cleaning up 17 old nuclear sites and MPs are calling for the budget for the programme to be extended to include the legacy nuclear submarines.

Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport has joined two other MPs in writing to the prime minister, as well as the leaders of the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Plymouth and Rosyth cannot be asked to store old nuclear submarines indefinitely. We need a proper funded plan and using the same principles as civil nuclear clean-up to safely, sustainably and securely recycle the out of service nuclear submarines would be a sound idea. I expect most people will be surprised to learn that every old nuclear submarine the Royal Navy ever has, we still have."

Luke PollardMP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

Ukrainian cows' milk still affected by Chernobyl

Parts of the Ukraine are still suffering the effects of radiation from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion in 1986, experts confirm.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology sampled cows' milk from farms and home in the Rivne region, about 125 miles (200km) from the former power plant.

Radioactive caesium levels higher than the official safety limit were found at eight of the 14 test areas, with the highest levels five times more than the adult limit and more than 12 times that for children.

Ukrainian cows

Dr Iryna Labunska from the University of Exeter said people are "routinely exposed" to radioactive material by consuming locally-produced food.

Chernobyl Power Plant

Many people in the area we studied keep cows for milk, and children are the main consumers of that milk. This situation should also act as a warning and a reminder of just how long the legacy of nuclear accidents can be.

Dr Iryna Labunska

The meltdown at the Soviet plant on 26 April 1986 was the worst nuclear disaster in history.