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  • ESG concern over nuclear issues


    The group reiterates its call for the cessation of visits from nuclear submarines to Gibraltar. This latest visit with the misinformation and secrecy by the Military of Defence highlights what the group has talked about time and time again. That the MoD will do whatever is necessary to meet its needs over and above the wishes and knowledge of the people of Gibraltar.

    In 2004 the ESG had meetings with the MoD and exchanged correspondence with the MoD and our own Government regarding the need for up to date, practical information on nuclear safety issues to be made available to the Gibraltarian community. Indeed the group was requesting for the same information that has already been issued to the UK communities in the form of Public Information Leaflets.

    The MoD passed this responsibility on to our Govt. who has not replied to a letter sent to them on this matter in August 2004.

    For the ESG it is very clear. We continue harbouring these submarines to show goodwill and maintain good relations with the UK, but this does not meet with the support of many Gibraltarians. We still rely on a cut and paste GibPubSafe document which was shown to be totally inadequate with HMS Tireless and will therefore be no different on this occasion. The groups’ efforts to obtain practical and up to date advice on safety for the community against a possible nuclear accident both from MoD and the Gibraltar Government have not succeeded.

    In the view of the ESG, Gibraltar is too small and densely populated to run the risk of a nuclear accident and carry out successfully any evacuation plan or safety strategy.

    This is also a delicate political and economic issue. But most importantly it is a public safety issue and should be treated as such. Not only when limping submarines enter our port and undergo repairs against the wishes of the local authority, but as an improved and upgraded Government policy to address these issues with a view to ruling out visits from nuclear submarines to Gibraltar altogether.