End of an era

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The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) and Babcock have achieved a significant milestone in their ongoing submarine decommissioning efforts.

The SDA recently shared on their official Twitter account: “Swiftsure was dry-docked in Rosyth to begin preparations for final dismantling. Swiftsure is being used as a demonstrator and will be the first UK nuclear-powered submarine to be fully dismantled by the end of 2026.”

Notably, this dismantling process is set to be unique, as highlighted by the SDA’s statement: “This will be done in a way that has not been attempted by any other nation. Around 90% of components, including valuable steel can be reused or recycled.”

Furthermore, the SDA emphasised their commitment to safety and environmental responsibility, noting that they are leading the way for safe disposal of all ex-service nuclear submarines.

Their statement added, “Our progress includes completing the first stage of dismantling, with Low-Level radioactive waste removed on the submarines Swiftsure, Resolution, Revenge and Repulse.”

The agency also proudly revealed their safety record, mentioning that this accomplishment was achieved alongside a staggering “million hours of work without a safety incident.”

Additionally, in response to a Parliamentary Written Question earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence offered insights into the status of the decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear submarines.

James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded to the inquiry, saying, “Good progress continues to be made with dismantling decommissioned submarines in Rosyth. The first stage of dismantling, including the removal of all Low-Level radioactive Waste, has been completed on four platforms, Swiftsure, Resolution, Revenge, and Repulse.”

Cartlidge also confirmed that Swiftsure will be the first submarine to be fully dismantled by the end of 2026. As of June 1, 2023, the UK has 22 decommissioned submarines awaiting disposal.

Original article here Nuclear sub dry docked for final dismantling in Rosyth (ukdefencejournal.org.uk)

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