The cost of replacing Trident has risen by a further £1bn in a year, an annual report produced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed. The replacement of submarines and other facilities, as well as the construction of a new reactor core, are facing severe delays, largely unrelated to the Covid-19 crisis, and have led to doubts as to whether the projects will be delivered on time.
This escalation in cost is one of a string of recent examples of mismanagement of nuclear projects by the MoD. Four nuclear projects have been rated as ‘amber’ or worse, as they face ‘significant issues, with another two having been ‘rebaselined’, meaning that costs have risen, and the length of the project increased.
These delays mean that it’s likely the UK government will be unable to meet its objective of always keeping a Trident submarine at sea. This latest crisis further demonstrates the need for parliament and people to revisit the issue, with a proper public debate on whether spending £205bn on Trident’s replacement, is worth it. At such a critical time – economically, socially and politically – this colossal and ever-increasing sum of money would be better put to strengthening our health service, investing in our economy or taking steps to deal with climate change.