Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2014
HELENSBURGH, Scotland — Two anti-nuclear weapons activists gained access and were arrested March 19 aboard Britain’s Royal Navy submarine HMS Ambush at its Faslane berth in the West of Scotland. Faslane houses the headquarters of the Royal Navy and Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons.
“I am amazed and disturbed by the accessibility of the UK’s top defense site. Up to 80 nuclear warheads are often stationed here, along with several nuclear reactors. We thought we could get in, but not that we would be arrested within meters of nuclear materials,” stated Heather Stewart, one of those arrested.
The HMS Ambush is one of three new Astute Class hunter-killer nuclear submarines that will replace the UK’s aging Trident fleet. Four more Astute subs are scheduled to be built and based at Faslane, and the three built so far have cost the British government over $1.6 billion each.
“Direct actions such as this are necessary, to reflect the overwhelming public support for scrapping Trident and to show that we won’t accept a Trident replacement or new nuclear submarines,” Stewart said. Their action was launched from the Faslane Peace Camp, which has provided a base for action outside the site for 31 years.
The US Navy also faces opposition to the replacement of its own Trident fleet — its 12 new nuclear submarines are expected to cost taxpayers $100 billion.
— Faslane Peace Camp press release, Mar. 21; Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, May 10, 2014