Submarine in worst nuclear leak since 80s
It has been revealed that a a royal navy nuclear submarine from the UK had a leak of nuclear material on November 7, pouring liquid coolant into a river. Now questions are being raised as to why the Royal Navy kept quiet about the event.
The Royal Navy is facing serious questions about why it kept quiet for four days about one of the worst radioactive spillages in recent years.
More than 61 gallons (280 litres) of toxic coolant poured into a river from a burst hose as it was being pumped from the nuclear submarine HMS Trafalgar on November 7.
But the Navy has only now admitted to the spill of the liquid, which contained tritium, a substance which can cause burns, cancer and DNA mutations as it breaks down.
Environmentalists said the incident "beggared belief" and made a mockery of tightly-regulated procedures for servicing the submarines.
The incident happened as the coolant was being pumped from the hunter-killer submarine into a large tank on a jetty at the Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, Devon.