Related News

Home » World

French, Brit nuclear-armed subs collide

NUCLEAR-ARMED submarines from Britain and France collided deep under the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, causing damage to both vessels but releasing no radioactivity, a British official said yesterday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The incident was first reported by London tabloid The Sun.

The HMS Vanguard, Britain's first Trident class nuclear-armed submarine, and the French Le Triomphant submarine, also carrying nuclear missiles, both suffered minor damages.

The British official said the Vanguard's "deterrent capability remained unaffected and there was no compromise to nuclear safety." No members of the crew were injured.

The HMS Vanguard, which went into operation in 1994, is one of Britain's four nuclear-powered submarines. Each is capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear-armed Trident missiles.

France's Defense Ministry said in a brief statement on February 6 that the Le Triomphant had struck "a submerged object (probably a container)" during a return from a patrol, damaging the sonar dome on the front of the submarine.

The French ministry did not confirm the date of the collision, nor did it make any mention of a British submarine.

It said in the statement that no crew members were injured and confirmed that the nuclear security of the submarine was not compromised.

After the accident the French submarine returned to its base on L'Ile Longue on France's western tip under its own power, escorted as usual by a frigate, the ministry said.

The incident sparked concern among nuclear activists, who have long warned that nuclear submarines pose risks of radioactive leaks into the world's waters.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend