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1 Mar 2005 : Column 1142W—continued

Trident

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment of possible acquisition costs for a replacement for the Trident nuclear submarine he has made. [218336]

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimates have been made of the possible acquisition costs of a replacement for the Trident nuclear warhead delivery system. [218345]

Mr. Hoon: We made clear in the 2003 Defence White Paper (paragraph 3.11) that decisions on the UK's future nuclear deterrent capability were not needed during this Parliament but were likely to be needed during the next Parliament. Cost factors will of course be taken fully into account along with all other relevant issues.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the last risk assessment was made on the transportation of nuclear material for the Trident nuclear system; and whether the Scottish Executive has been involved in the risk assessment process. [218338]

Mr. Hoon: The last risk assessment on the transport of nuclear material for the Trident nuclear system was issued in January 2005. The Scottish Executive was not involved in the generation of this risk assessment.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many accidents have taken place since 1990 involving (a) nuclear warheads and (b) other nuclear material related to the Trident nuclear missile system. [218339]

Mr. Hoon: None.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last reviewed command and control procedures for the Trident missile system. [218340]


 
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Mr. Hoon: All aspects of the operation of the UK nuclear deterrent force are audited on a regular basis.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of potential risks of malfunction in the (a) nuclear warhead and (b) delivery system of the Trident nuclear missile. [218346]


 
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Mr. Hoon: Comprehensive assessments of risks arising from ownership of the Trident missile and associated warheads were undertaken before introduction into service. Risk is kept under constant review and arrangements are in place to ensure formal regular reporting to the appropriate bodies.