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Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 221353, tabled on 20 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his statement of 20 January 2015, Official Report, column 105, on Trident renewal, that the UK has met its commitment to withdraw from deployment some of its nuclear weapons, whether an independent authority has been given access to verify that withdrawal of operational nuclear weapons; what his Department has done with those missiles withdrawn from deployment; what his Department has done with fissile material from those nuclear warheads withdrawn from deployment; and what international safeguards inspection measures have been applied to that fissile material.

Answered on

27 January 2015

As a recognised Nuclear Weapons State under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the UK is not obliged to seek an independent authority to verify the reduction in the number of operational missiles and nuclear warheads.

Non-operational Trident missiles are stored in accordance with agreed procedures. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review revision of the number of operational missiles did not change the UK entitlement to Trident missiles, which are supplied from a common pool in the US under a Government to Government arrangement.

Once processed, the fissile material from dismantled warheads is returned to the Ministry of Defence nuclear material stockpile.

As a recognised Nuclear Weapons State under the NPT, the UK is not obliged to place this material under international safeguards.