'Keep nuclear sub out of SA waters'

AN ANTI-NUCLEAR pressure group has urged that the ageing British submarine HMS Sceptre, scheduled to visit Simon's Town next month, be kept out of South African waters.

AN ANTI-NUCLEAR pressure group has urged that the ageing British submarine HMS Sceptre, scheduled to visit Simon's Town next month, be kept out of South African waters.

Koeberg Alert Alliance chairperson Peter Becker said yesterday his organisation noted "with alarm" the history of the nuclear-powered vessel.

This included a collision in the 1980s which the Royal Navy apparently lied to the public about; a coolant leak in 1990; an on-board fire in 1991; a defect in the reactor discovered in 1998, and a dry dock accident in 2000. After the 2000 accident, Becker said, it was recommended that the vessel be scrapped.

"The vessel was brought back into service, required further repairs in 2005 and is planned to be decommissioned in 2010," he said.

In a submission to the National Nuclear Regulator last week, the alliance said the regulator would be failing in its duties if it allowed the Sceptre to enter South African waters. - Sapa

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