The nuclear deterrent and reasons for its replacement

ugly

LE
Moderator
They can slash defence spending but it won’t make a dent in the welfare bill
They'll slash defence spending to pay for the welfare bill. They've no intention of reducing it and taking money away from their key voters.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
They'll slash defence spending to pay for the welfare bill. They've no intention of reducing it and taking money away from their key voters.
At least we could hope for no sandpit adventures under Comrade Corbyn. Not that his party will get looked at by me.
 

AfghanAndy

On ROPS
On ROPs
They'll slash defence spending to pay for the welfare bill. They've no intention of reducing it and taking money away from their key voters.
They could slash defence and it wouldn’t even come close to what they’re promising.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
They could slash defence and it wouldn’t even come close to what they’re promising.
It doesn't matter, fools believe the lies they are peddled regardless.
 
The parliamentary members of the Labour Party could prevent Corbyn becoming PM in the event that the party wins a majority. They'd just need to get a no-confidence motion through that identifies a different person for HM to appoint. Corbyn would still have what he needs to be leader of the party - the numbers in the party - but not what he needs to be leader of the govt: the numbers in the HoC. There's more than enough loathing for him amongst his parliamentary colleagues. They know that just hoping that Corbyn self-destructs is a practical option only whilst in opposition. But it would be a very disruptive manoeuvre & the question is whether enough of them would have the bottle.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
The parliamentary members of the Labour Party could prevent Corbyn becoming PM in the event that the party wins a majority. They'd just need to get a no-confidence motion through that identifies a different person for HM to appoint. Corbyn would still have what he needs to be leader of the party - the numbers in the party - but not what he needs to be leader of the govt: the numbers in the HoC. There's more than enough loathing for him amongst his parliamentary colleagues. They know that just hoping that Corbyn self-destructs is a practical option only whilst in opposition. But it would be a very disruptive manoeuvre & the question is whether enough of them would have the bottle.
Harold Lasky attempted this in 1945, it failed
 
It's not very pretty and only a couple of years old too. Mind you it doesn't look the kind of place where they're building nuclear reactors (apart from the heavy duty fence) so I suppose it's successful.
Well it was until you posted the picture on the net.

The Royal Navy incidentally was responsible for putting a training reactor in the College at Greenwich - classic Wren architecture and probably the most elegant building to house one.

Meanwhile: the Americans are thinking about what comes after Trident:

US Navy opens new SLBM office
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Well it was until you posted the picture on the net.

That's at Derby. Their on-site research reactor the has been decommissioned and, as far as I know, there are no fissile materials at Derby. When the current reactors (power plants) have been built and tested, and are ready for Service, they are taken elsewhere to be fuelled.

The Royal Navy incidentally was responsible for putting a training reactor in the College at Greenwich - classic Wren architecture and probably the most elegant building to house one.

That was because Greenwich was then a RN establishment and, as you rightly say, it was used for training at the time. It was a research reactor and thus didn't produce anything. It was decommissioned many years ago.

Meanwhile: the Americans are thinking about what comes after Trident:

US Navy opens new SLBM office

And why not? We both use nuclear weapons to defend our respective nations so why shouldn't they replace the existing facilities with the latest infrastructures?
If you want to know more about the long-gone research reactors at Derby and Greenwich I will look at some of my old work books and post them.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
JASON at Greenwch was less a research reactor than the one used to train nuclear propulsion engineers. It was the ONLY nuclear reactor in a Listed building. It was used in conjunction with an IBM 1610 'scientific' computer.
 
Well it was until you posted the picture on the net.

The Royal Navy incidentally was responsible for putting a training reactor in the College at Greenwich - classic Wren architecture and probably the most elegant building to house one.
How we laughed when Ken Livingstone appeared on TV and declared that London was a nuclear free zone.
 
@goodoldboy

I was making the point that the US Navy/DoD is investing in the infrastructure needed for future SLBM (they cannot keep extending the life of Trident) and CASD. As for Rolls Royce in Derby, they also make engines for airliners there. There was a bit of media fuss in the late nineties (I think) about the reactors being produced in that city.

@seaweed

I always wondered by the reactor course was done at Greenwich.

@Ancient_Mariner

I remember being a child and seeing one of those 'send your daft questions in to us' type programmes, and some fool asked if declaring a city a nuclear free zone guarantee that it would not be attacked.
 
@goodoldboy

I was making the point that the US Navy/DoD is investing in the infrastructure needed for future SLBM (they cannot keep extending the life of Trident) and CASD. As for Rolls Royce in Derby, they also make engines for airliners there. There was a bit of media fuss in the late nineties (I think) about the reactors being produced in that city.
The RR nuclear and aero engine divisions are separate outfits. Nuclear is confined to one site on the outskirts whereas aero is scattered all over town. The Times did an article about nuclear a couple of years ago.

Somewhere in Derby a nuclear reactor is critical for Trident
John Collingridge becomes the first journalist to visit Rolls-Royce’s secret Neptune test facility
John Collingridge
July 24 2016, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

Rolls-Royce will produce nuclear reactor cores for submarines such as HMS AstuteMOD

Gentle pips emit from a red speaker at the entrance to the Neptune nuclear reactor test centre with the frequency of a dripping tap.
The sound is soothing to staff inside the drab 1960s building, which sits behind a 12ft electric fence on an industrial estate in Derby. You want to worry if the pips stop, said Martin Smith, a stern Rolls-Royce veteran of 25 years who runs the test reactor facility. “Then we know there’s a problem.”
Neptune, which resembles a university laboratory inside a large concrete box, sits at the heart of one of Britain’s most secretive, expensive and important defence initiatives: the nuclear submarine programme.



The reactor core for every British submarine is built at Rolls-Royce’s Raynesway site. The reactors are then assessed at Neptune before they are sealed within the vessels they will power for decades.

Last week MPs secured Raynesway’s future when they voted overwhelmingly to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent. Four submarines, armed with nuclear missiles, will be built under the Successor programme. It will cost up to £41bn, said the Ministry of Defence. Other estimates put the cost nearer to £170bn including development and the submarines’ 30-year lifespan.

Rolls-Royce is one of only a handful of companies around the world capable of building nuclear reactors, and one of an even smaller number able to build them for submarines. It has been involved with the British fleet since the late 1950s, when the government signed an agreement with America to share technology.
The company has powered every British nuclear submarine since then and will handle about 15% of the Successor programme — worth £6.2bn, on defence ministry figures. It will be responsible not just for the reactor and cooling system but also the wider propulsion system, including propellers.
For Rolls-Royce, which makes most of its money from selling and servicing jet engines for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, nuclear propulsion is arguably a distraction. It is the smallest of its five divisions but has a disproportionately large engineering workforce. Trident is the main reason the government holds a “golden share” in the business, which allows it to block any takeover.

Only UK nationals are allowed to enter the site, which is ringed by a dual carriageway, railway line and the River Derwent. Staff must leave their mobile phones in lockers and even simple digital devices such as USB sticks and Dictaphones are banned. Until my visit, no journalist had set foot on the site and the reactor factory remained off limits.
Each submarine’s power plant has roughly the same output as a large civil aircraft engine but must continuously operate for at least 20 years. It must also maintain the vessel’s main quality: stealth. Only sound energy equivalent to the idling engine of a small car may escape into the water.
“If we don’t get that right, it’s all for nothing,”said Steve Dearden, the boss of the submarines business. He spent 33 years in the Royal Navy, 13 of them as an engineer aboard submarines.

He has the task of ensuring Rolls-Royce delivers the reactors on time and to budget with “the biggest single population of nuclear design engineers in the UK”. Yet industry experts say the reactor is the main threat to the first Successor submarine entering service punctually in the early 2030s.
Successor will be powered by a new reactor type, the PWR3, based on American pressurised water technology. The government decided not to upgrade the PWR2, which powers the new Astute-class submarines and the existing Trident vessels.

No prototype will be built, however. All previous reactor designs have been tested at the Vulcan facility at Dounreay, northeast Scotland, but that is closing. Alex Ashbourne-Walmsley, a defence consultant, described the decision not to make a PWR3 prototype as the “biggest single issue that could jeopardise the whole submarine build programme”.
Last year the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, admitted there was “no practical course of action” to enable construction of a new prototype test facility before the first Successor submarine.

Warren East, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive, refused to say whether the company will shoulder the financial risk of completing the reactor to schedule and to cost. In a way, he said, the decision not to prototype made him “even more confident, because of the way we have simulated the design. I’m totally confident that what we sign up to we will deliver.”
And so the pressure is on Dearden and his Neptune box. It tests the reactor core on a tiny scale, creating a nuclear reaction that generates no more 100 watts — the power of a light bulb. “You can’t test them to power but you can test the physics,” he said.

All this is being done on a site that had been starved of investment, with skills and the workforce allowed to dwindle. A source said netting is suspended in the core factory to catch debris falling from the dilapidated ceiling.

Thanks to the PWR3, £500m of taxpayer money is pouring in, and a new core factory will open next year. The size of the submarine engineering workforce has doubled in 6½ years and the company’s nuclear workforce now totals 4,200.

“I’m trying to do the biggest [reactor] redesign in 30 years, recapitalise the site and regenerate human capability,” said Dearden. “That’s why PWR3 is so critical for UK capability — to stay good at something you have to keep doing it.”
 
I am aware of the structure of Rolls Royce and the way it is divided into different divisions.

As for that article, the word 'Trident' seems to be used as a term for everything to do with the SSBN, the missiles, warheads, and infrastructure. Does this distort arguments about costs? For example, much of the nuclear and other propulsion technology is shared with SSNs, a few things are shared with surface warships, the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow was built to build the Vanguard boats, but was also used to construct the two LPDs.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
I am aware of the structure of Rolls Royce and the way it is divided into different divisions.

As for that article, the word 'Trident' seems to be used as a term for everything to do with the SSBN, the missiles, warheads, and infrastructure. Does this distort arguments about costs? For example, much of the nuclear and other propulsion technology is shared with SSNs, a few things are shared with surface warships, the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow was built to build the Vanguard boats, but was also used to construct the two LPDs.
Sorry, but I can't answer any of your questions about costs or shared facilities, so I'm out for now.....
 
JASON at Greenwch was less a research reactor than the one used to train nuclear propulsion engineers. It was the ONLY nuclear reactor in a Listed building. It was used in conjunction with an IBM 1610 'scientific' computer.
Dad told me the other day there was an AWE branch at the Artillery barracks / complex in Woolwich, on the the common when he was a cadet (this would be in the late fifties), which he reckoned also had a reactor Does that sound right?
 

Latest Threads

Top