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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 17:52 GMT
Radioactive leak at Devonport
HMS Vanguard arriving in Plymouth
HMS Vanguard arrived at Devonport in February
Managers at Plymouth's Devonport Dockyard have been attempting to allay fears over a radioactive leak from a nuclear submarine.

The Environment Agency has confirmed that ten litres of radioactive coolant leaked from HMS Vanguard in an incident two weeks ago.

The matter has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

Andrew Clark, the Dockyard's technical director, said he was certain no one had been put at serious risk.

'Minor incident'

"We are absolutely confident that there was no danger at any time to either to our workers or to members of the public," said Mr Clark.

"There was no release of this material outside the dock to the environment at all, it was all contained and was cleaned up using the proper procedures," he said.

HMS Vanguard was brought to the base for a refit amid protests earlier this year.

The leak occurred while coolant was being transferred from the submarine into a tank in Dock Nine.

The Environment Agency has described it as an "unauthorised discharge" but said the leak was contained, and there was no release into the environment.

The agency called it a "minor incident", but has asked Devonport Management Ltd, which owns and operates the dockyard, to look into the matter and produce a report into how it happened.


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27 Nov 02 | England
20 Nov 02 | England
03 Feb 02 | England
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