McLeod seeks assurances from MoD over “placing” of DU shells in the Solway

McLeod seeks assurances from MoD over “placing” of DU shells in the Solway


SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod has today (Tuesday) commented on reports that FoI requests have discovered that the Ministry of Defence has attempted to get round regulations prohibiting the dumping of nuclear waste at sea, which might prevent future testing of Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions at the Dundrennan Range on the Solway, by describing the test-firing as “placing” the shells in the Solway.

Dr McLeod commented:

I think that any reasonable person being told that test-fired depleted uranium shells were being “placed” in the Solway would struggle to believe their ears. In fact, parliamentary questions over the years, many of which were tabled by my predecessor Alasdair Morgan, highlighted that the MoD doesn’t know how many DU shells there are in the Solway and certainly does not know where they are, far less has any plans to remove them.

These FoI responses would appear to have uncovered a cynical attempt to get round international agreements designed to protect the environment, so that test firing of DU shells can continue.

I also know that campaigners are concerned that a further round of test firing may be on the cards and that Dundrennan is the only location in Britain at which this exercise is undertaken.

Although this issue is primarily reserved to Westminster, Scotland’s environment is the Scottish Government’s responsibility and I note that the Scottish Government is totally opposed to the test-firing of DU munitions anywhere in Scotland. The MoD and the Westminster Government must live up to their obligations to international agreements, not continue this practice and cover for it with weasel words.

I am therefore writing to the UK Secretary of State for Defence to seek an assurance that no further test firing of DU shells will take place at Dundrennan.

doc icon13.03.11 McLeod seeks assurances from MoD over placement of DU shells in the Solway.doc