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  • Safety Plan



    The ESG was formed originally because of the emergency repairs done in Gibraltar on HMS Tireless, a nuclear propelled submarine, about 6 six years ago. The group was first known as Concerned Parents, then later Concerned Citizens and finally became registered as the Environmental Safety Group or the ESG.


    The position of the group remains adamantly against visits by nuclear submarines to Gibraltar. Reasons are clear. Should a nuclear accident occur at the dockyard, however minor, it is virtually impossible to carry out an emergency plan because:-


    • Gibraltar is a densely populated town
    • People are not aware of a contingency plan and do not carry out drills
    • Gibraltar is virtually an island and only point of exit would be across an international border to Spain
    • It is clear that no cross border contingency plan is exercised or known to the community and this carries implications that panic will follow any radiation incident requiring the movement of masses of people in this area


    The GibPubSafe document found at the local library is not well known to the community. When HMS Tireless was being repaired an old version based on the Plymouth Safety Document was at the library and inspection showed a cut and paste job and did not relate to the structure neither geographically, nor in infrastructure regarding emergency protocol to Gibraltar’s’ situation. Since then an updated version of the GibPubSafe document now exists which relates directly to our circumstances although this is still only available at the library and is not “proactively” disseminated.


    The inadequate health and safety plans left us in no doubt whatsoever that the British Government only cared about pursuing its objectives and did not care to follow highest safety standards and procedures with regards to the citizens of Gibraltar and indeed the Bay. The ESG was supported in its intense public campaign by highly respected Dr Frank Barnaby, a nuclear physicist, who believed it was foolhardy for the MoD to risk performing new repairs on HMS Tireless in an unsuitable environment. CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) also lent substantive technical and campaign support throughout the period the damaged submarine was in Gibraltar.


    The reason the British Government got away with such blatant injustices was because it enjoyed crown immunity and there was no law available to us in the Bay to stop what were totally inappropriate repairs to be done in Gibraltar. A recent ruling by the European Commission on a complaint lodged by Spanish environmental groups against the British Government on the Tireless repairs was that, while it understood and supported the concerns of the citizens, it too did not have authorisation to take action against the UK. This leaves European citizens in a precarious situation of having few rights to secure a safe and healthy future for themselves and their families when it comes to the unrestricted movement and repairs to nuclear submarines.


    Recreational visits by nuclear submarines continue and the ESG will continue to oppose such visits. The group is still waiting for the Ministry of Defence and the Gibraltar Government to produce a specific booklet as exists for UK communities living within a few kilometres radius to nuclear sub berths. These booklets focus on the emergency procedure to follow and also ensure that those based closest to the submarine berth have potassium iodate tablets at home or work in order to protect themselves from radioactive fallout.


    Please check site for links to UK booklets which have been in place in the UK for a few years now and which will be posted on this site shortly.