Retired Royal Navy subs 'costing £30m to store'

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is costing the taxpayer an unacceptable amount of money by failing to dispose of its retired nuclear submarines, a new report has found.

According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, storage and maintenance of the vessels is costing around £30 million a year, a sum it called "unnecessary".

The damning document revealed the dismantling project is running 15 years late and £800 million over-budget, with the MoD likely to run out of storage space by the mid-2020s if it does not pick up the "glacial" pace.

Britain retired 20 of its legacy submarines in 1980, but nine of them still contain nuclear fuel. There had been a deadline to dismantle HMS Swiftsure by 2023, but it is now likely this will not be met.

Chair of the select committee Meg Hillier said: "Whilst some progress has been made recently with submarine disposals, the MoD cannot afford to fall any further behind."

There are currently twice as many retired submarines in storage as there are in active service for the MoD.

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