Britain Delays Repairs On Crippled Sub

Friday, August 18, 2000
Britain's defense ministry agreed to delay repairs on a crippled nuclear submarine stranded in Gibraltar since May, handing at least a temporary victory to environmentalists and the Gibraltar government.

The ministry had planned to begin work on HMS Tireless on Aug. 21 despite local opposition, but officials said repairs had been delayed so that local officials could assess any safety risks. The Gibraltar government opposes any repairs being started until a panel of experts has reviewed the military's safety report. Environmentalists claim the Tireless's shut-down nuclear reactor poses a health hazard.

The ministry previously refused to show the sensitive report to the independent Gibraltarian panel.

The Tireless has sat in Gibraltar Harbor for three months awaiting repairs, after a leak developed in the cooling system of its nuclear reactor, and the submarine was towed to Gibraltar on Spain's southern coast.

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