British Sub Shuts Nuke Reactor After Cooling Leak : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Thursday May 18 7:26 AM ET British Sub Shuts Nuke Reactor After Cooling Leak GIBRALTAR (Reuters) - A British nuclear submarine has sprung a leak in its reactor's cooling system and may have to be towed back to Britain from the colony of Gibraltar, the military said Thursday.

``There is no hazard to the general public, nor to personnel on board,'' British Forces Gibraltar said in a news release. ''Radiation levels are normal throughout the submarine; routine monitoring continues.''

HMS Tireless was due to arrive in Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain for checks on its propulsion system after been withdrawn from a round-the-world deployment, the military said.

The defect involved a leak of coolant water from the reactor's cooling system but the leak was contained in the reactor compartment. The reactor has been shut down, the statement said.

Speak your mind Discuss this story with other people. [Start a Conversation] (Requires Yahoo! Messenger) The Tireless is one of seven Trafalgar class submarines in the British Navy that are capable of launching Tomahawk missiles, according to Janes Fighting Ships.

Launched in 1984 and commissioned in 1985, the Tireless is 280 meters (924 feet) long, holds a crew of 130 sailors and can reach a speed of 32 knots.

Gibraltar is a tiny British colony on the southern coast of Spain at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. It was once considered a strategic military base but its value has diminished since the end of the Cold War.

Its deep-water port at the base of the famous ``Rock of Gibraltar'' is a convenient stop for British submarines.

The submarine base generates little controversy in Gibraltar, where most of the colony's 30,000 people favor an arrangement whereby London has control over defense, police and foreign policy while local authorities enjoy home rule.

But Gibraltar itself is disputed. Spain claims the territory of 2.3 square miles for itself and refuses to recognize Gibraltar's locally elected government.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 18, 2000

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