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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=1239852002 Nuclear sub runs aground on Skye Jeanette Oldham and Liam McDougall A NUCLEAR submarine has run aground while taking part in a military exercise off Skye. The Ministry of Defence was last night trying to find out how the vessel, one of the navy’s 12 nuclear-powered attack subs, managed to hit a rock while on a military exercise. The MoD would not say last night if the captain of the submarine would face a court martial. HMS Trafalgar usually carries Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and it is believed it will be used in any invasion of Iraq. The MoD said two crew members on board the submarine sustained injuries at 7:58am yesterday, when it hit a rock, Fladda-Chauina, 500 metres off the north-west coast of Skye. At the time, the vessel was travelling at 14.5 knots (18 mph). An MoD spokeswoman said: "There is no damage to the pressure hull and a core integrity assessment of the nuclear reactor has been conducted. "There is no risk to the public or crew." The submarine was taking part in a training exercise and surfaced immediately after the incident. One of the crewmen suffered a broken nose and the other strained his back. HMS Trafalgar, which was commissioned in 1983, was due to arrive at Faslane naval base on the Clyde today , where the damage will be assessed fully. The 4,750-ton submarine was last night travelling under her own power, but was being escorted by a Royal Navy warship. The military exercise involved between 20 and 30 vessels, including submarines and frigates, as well as aircraft. Such exercises take place beside the busy shipping lanes of the west coast of Scotland between Cape Wrath and Skye about two or three times a year. Charles Kennedy, the local MP and the Liberal Democrat leader, said in a statement: "The first reaction to this news must be one of relief that no hull breach or damage to the nuclear reactor has occurred and no lives have been lost. "But when a nuclear submarine is involved in an incident of this nature, with the potential for disastrous consequences, it is essential that a full investigation is undertaken, the conclusions of which must be made public." Bernard Jenkin, the shadow defence secretary, said: "Accidents happen but we have precious few of these submarines - where is the spare capacity to stand in when such vessels are put out of action? "The government is unprepared for the unexpected, and the armed forces are already overstretched as it is." Jane Tallants, the vice-chairwoman of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), said: "It is very worrying that these submarines, which are supposedly precision machines, couldn’t miss something the size of Skye." Carol Naughton, the chairwoman of CND, said: "We are calling for an independent assessment of this accident. "We are sceptical of immediate reassurances from the Royal Navy following the case of HMS Tireless, which went to port in Gibraltar two years ago and subsequently was discovered to have had a reactor fault." The discovery of a "design fault" led to the entire hunter-killer fleet being called back into port, claimed a spokesman for CND. "Our question is this: has this incident been caused by another design fault? If so, will all hunter-killers be called back into port?" A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive would only say last night: "Defence matters are reserved. "A full investigation is being carried out by the Ministry of Defence. Scottish ministers will be kept fully informed." Di McDonald Nuclear Information Service (NIS) Westwood House 30 Westwood Road Southampton SO17 1DN Britain Tel/Fax: +44 (0)23 80554434 email@example.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk