Nuclear Submarines

Defence written question – answered on 16 September 2009.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 April 2009, Official Report, column 1400W, to the hon. Member for Moray, on nuclear submarines, on what nuclear submarines the 21 medium scale fires were reported; what the location was of each such submarine at the time of the fire; and when each fire occurred.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence

Royal Navy submarines are operated to the highest possible safety standards. Personnel are rigorously trained to deal efficiently and effectively with all safety incidents.

Three fires requiring both ship and external resources are recorded as occurring on Royal Navy submarines since 1 January 1987. Details of these are provided in the following table:

Vessel Location where fire took place Date of fire
HMS Renown Clyde 17 February 1992
HMS Turbulent Devonport 30 April 1992
HMS Trafalgar Devonport 24 October 2003

In the same time period, there were 20 medium scale fires and details of these are provided in the following table.

Vessel Location where fire took place, if known Date of fire
HMS Courageous Alongside 10 December 1984
HMS Sceptre Not recorded 29 July 1987
HMS Conqueror Alongside 26 August 1987
HMS Renown Not recorded 15 November 1987
HMS Renown Clyde 10 October 1988
HMS Valiant Clyde 5 August 1989
HMS Valiant Alongside 22 December 1989
HMS Trenchant At sea 21 November 1991
HMS Superb At sea 3 November 1992
HMS Tireless At sea 11 January 1993
HMS Revenge At sea 29 July 1993
HMS Tireless Alongside 22 October 1993
HMS Sovereign Rosyth 7 April 1994
HMS Sovereign Rosyth 22 August 1995
HMS Victorious Alongside 16 October 1995
HMS Talent Devonport 18 January 1999
HMS Sovereign Clyde 17 June 2001
HMS Victorious At sea 22 April 2002
HMS Vigilant Clyde 11 October 2006
HMS Tireless At sea 21 March 2007

For those incidents where the vessel was either 'alongside' or 'at sea', the exact location of the vessel is not recorded centrally.

On behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence, I have written to Angus Robertson to correct the previous statement made on this subject-2 April 2009, Hansard, column 1400W.

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