South West Green MEP speaks out against Trident nuclear waste ‘dump’ in Plymouth

The BBC’s Inside Out programme on Monday will examine the issue of nuclear waste storage in Plymouth [1]. Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP for the region, was interviewed for the feature, but the BBC has chosen not to use the footage. She reiterated her concerns about the ongoing storage of dangerous radioactive waste in the Devonport Dockyards which  arises from the nuclear-powered and nuclear armed Trident submarines that are either based at or visit Devonport. Molly said: 

“I am deeply concerned about the health and safety hazards this nuclear waste dump poses to so many of my constituents. This danger has been allowed to fester and grow for over twenty years in the heart of a major city. This is totally unacceptable”.

The controversial question of whether to commission a new generation of nuclear-armed Trident submarines, at an estimated cost of £100bn, will be discussed by the UK Parliament later this year.  The government backs replacement, while Labour appear divided and are currently reviewing their policy on the issue. Molly said:

“The dangers posed by nuclear waste are just one of the reasons that Greens have always been united in opposition to the replacement of the UK’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines. We also believe that nuclear weapons are immoral, unusable and a totally unacceptable use of public money.”

Dr Scott Cato believes that local jobs linked to Trident submarines could be replaced by better, more socially useful employment and is urging local authorities and unions to back a process of ‘industrial conversion’. She said:

“This is a classic case of turning swords into ploughshares. The prize for that conversion is not only a safer and healthier local and global environment but also new clean, green, high quality jobs.”


[1] BBC TV SW are broadcasting a short feature about the issue of nuclear waste at Devonport as part of the ‘Inside Out’ programme on BBC 1, Monday 18th January at 7.30pm.