A report by David Mackenzie and Jane Tallents for Nukewatch UK has highlighted the lack of preparation by Scottish public authorities for an incident involving the transport of nuclear weapons materials across the country.
Such transport convoys travel between the Aldermaston and Burghfield atomic weapons plants in Berkshire and Coulport on Loch Long up to eight times a year, carrying nuclear warheads.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 obligies public authorities to identify potential threats to public safety and to list them publically. A survey by MSP Mark Ruskell has found that all Scottish local authorities on or near the convey routes are failling in this duty. None have carried out risk assessments with regard to the convoys, or informed and advised the public about possible emergencies involving the nuclear materials.
The culture of secrecy surrounding these convoys is such that even the police officers escorting them are often ignorant of their cargo, and would therefore not necessarily be in a position to provide an appropriate response in the event of an accident. The MOD may argue that such secrecy is needed for national security, but the security of the public living near the convoy routes seems to have been rather overlooked in all this.
The full report can be read at http://www.nukewatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/UnreadyScotland-Report.pdf