July 25, 2014

Internet blunder reveals nuclear sub secrets

Getting on a bit with a dodgy reactor but still a nice little runner.

The UK Ministry of Defence has admitted that secret information about the Britains nuclear submarines was made available on the internet by mistake.

A publishing technical error meant that blacked out parts of an online MoD report could be read by pasting into another document.

The information included the measures used by the US Navy to protect its nuclear submarines, the UK’s Daily Star Sunday reported.

There was also expert opinion on how the nuclear submarine fleet would cope with a serious accident.

The MoD says a new ‘secure’ version has now been published and it was working to stop such an incident happening again. That takes all the fun out of reading dry MoD docs, for secret lovers everywhere.

The document in question was an assessment by the head of the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, Commodore Andrew McFarlane, of the options for reactors for future submarines to replace the Trident fleet.

Some parts of the declassified dossier, published on the Parliament website, were redacted to protect allegedly sensitive information.

In the sections that were supposed to be released, it was concluded that existing reactors were “potentially vulnerable” to fatal accidents.

This caused ministers to suggest that different types would be used in future. Stunning logic there.

A spokesman for the MoD, which was told about the blunder by the Daily Star Sunday, said: “The MoD is grateful to the journalist for bringing this matter to our attention.”

“As soon as we were told about this, we took steps to ensure the document was removed from the public domain and replaced by a properly redacted version.

“We take nuclear security very seriously and we are doing everything possible to prevent a recurrence of this.”

Yawn. Why is it we know what PR spokespeople are going to say before they say it.