Base de l’Ile Longue: la ligue celtique interroge l’Etat français sur les risques

ile-longueFollowing the revelations about a catalogue of contamination incidents at the British ballistic missile submarine bases at Faslane and Devonport the Celtic League are pressing the French government to come clean about the record of the French nuclear submarine base at Ile Longue, in Brittany.

Given that all other States that have nuclear submarine facilities have now had to own up to pollution problems it seems inconceivable that Ile Longue has a `clean bill of health’ :

« Hervé Morin
Minister of Defence
14, rue Saint-Dominique
75007 PARIS (France)

Dear Minister Hervé Morin

Ile Longue SSBN base, Brittany

I am writing to you following the well publicised contamination incident at the British SSBN base at Faslane in Scotland and to enquire about the various safety and environmental issues involving the nuclear-powered, ballistic nuclear missile-carrying submarines based at the Île Longue SSBN base.

I appreciate that data about the operational circumstances governing the the force océanique stratégique (FOST), is confidential and secret and our organisation is not seeking such information.

However, we are aware that (as with Faslane) the maintenance of the nuclear submarines is done at Île Longue, as well as storage of the nuclear components (warheads and fuel bars), as is the case in other nuclear submarine bases.

The recent revelations about Faslane indicate that the maintenance and storage of these nuclear components is a highly risky and complex procedure and that contamination of the surrounding environment where these components are kept is possible.

Contamination incidents have been proven in recent years at nuclear submarine bases in the USA, UK and Russia and we believe that it is not unlikely that such incidents have also occurred at the Île Longue SSBN base, since it was made operational in 1972.

We would therefore like to know the extent and frequency of health and safety monitoring at Ile Longue is undertaken and who carries it out?

Is such monitoring to military or civil standards and if the former could you outline the variations between the standards applied by the military as opposed to civil standards?

In addition could you advise if there is any independent verification of safety data relating to the base undertaken and if the results of these are published?

I would conclude by reminding you that both the French and British government who maintain independent nuclear deterrent forces in Europe have a duty of care to the wider European community to ensure these forces operate strict environmental protection standards

Yours sincerely
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League


François Fillon, Prime minister
Commissioner Joe Borg, European Commission, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

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