CONTROVERSIAL plans for a nuclear waste store at Rosyth Dockyard have been dropped, it has been announced in Parliament.

The Babcock plan would have seen the intermediate level waste from redundant nuclear submarines stored at Rosyth and Devonport.

However, during a Commons debate on Tuesday, a government minister announced that Babcock was no longer interested in proceeding with the idea.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty (right) said, “This is great news for the area this Christmas.” He went on, “I am absolutely delighted that the Ministry of Defence and Babcock have listened to myself and the local community and dropped plans for the store.

“It is now up to Babcock and the MoD to set out in the New Year how, once a store is identified and agreed elsewhere in the UK to take the waste, they would approach the dismantling of the submarines.

“I am calling on Babcock and the Ministry of Defence to work with Fife College and other local organisations to identify how West Fife can best benefit from the dismantling project.” In May the Press reported the concerns of Mr Docherty following a meeting with the MoD to discuss the Submarine Dismantling Project and find out more about what activities may be carried out at Rosyth.

He was concerned in the talks to learn Babcock were considering plans for an Intermediate Level Waste storage and afterwards asked the company to spell out their proposals.

The MP said a nuclear waste storage facility would have no local support and fail to bring any community benefit.

In the Commons on Tuesday Mr Docherty asked Minister for International Security Strategy Dr Andrew Murrison MP to give “real cast-iron guarantees to my constituents” that there would be “no attempt to move on these submarines until this is all joined up going forward.” Dr Murrison responded, “The hon Gentleman is talking about the submarine dismantling project and will be aware that there are seven hulls currently at Rosyth awaiting dismantling.

“Their cores have been removed; he knows that. The pressurised vessels that contain those cores remain and because of the exposure to radiation over the years they have become intermediate level waste and need to be disposed off responsibly.

“The hon Gentleman will probably be aware – because Babcock has briefed MPs and the councils – that Babcock is not interested in storing the intermediate level waste. It is difficult to see how this becomes a relevant factor in the context of Rosyth.”