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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 08:24 GMT
Sub dismantling under fire
Islous meeting
Campaigners spoke out against the proposals at the meeting
Anti-nuclear campaigners say disused nuclear submarines should not be stored near to such a large city as Plymouth.

At a meeting on Monday night, campaigners spoke out against proposals to dismantle decommissioned nuclear submarines at Devonport.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is currently asking people what they think of the idea which is known as Project Isolus.

The firm which runs Devonport Dockyard, DML, is one of several companies bidding for the work to dismantle nuclear subs.

Ian Avent from the anti-nuclear group, Campaign Against Nuclear Storage and Radiation in Plymouth (Cansar), said it would be too close to the 270,000 people in Plymouth.

He said: "One of the golden rules that has come out of the Isolus consultation is that there should be no nuclear facilities within 25km of a population of 5,000 people.

HMS Turbulent in Plymouth Sound

"At the moment they are looking at places in Scotland to store the stuff and they are not happy either."

Devonport already has four nuclear submarines awaiting dismantling and wants to bring in another seven from Rosyth in Fife.

Another 16 nuclear submarines are expected to be decommissioned in the next few years.

But work cannot start until the MoD decides who should get the licence to store the 800-tonne radioactive reactors, which is why it is asking for the public's views.

Plymouth City Council will be holding an exhibition on the proposals at the Guildhall on 5 December.

The council decided on Monday that tablets which could help protect against cancer after a nuclear accident will no longer be given to Devonport residents to store in their homes.

People living in the area had been supplied with potassium iodate tablets.

But Debra Lapthorne, director of public health in Plymouth, says the tablets can be easily lost, or eaten by pets and children.

Under new plans, the pills will only be given out in the event of a nuclear accident.

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16 Oct 03  |  Devon

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