Petition against nuclear submarines in Norway

This is a translation of the petion text:

Haakonsvern is one of Northern Europe’s largest maritime military bases. An increasing number of nuclear submarines call every year. The base will now be upgraded for NOK 350 million, i.a. with new «submarine facilities». The secrecy surrounding the arrival of nuclear submarines means that the population is largely unaware of the dangers they represent.

Increased risk of accidents
The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has already stated that more calls increase the risk of accidents. They write that «the increase in calls to Norway entails an increased risk that Norway may be affected by a major or minor incident in a reactor-powered vessel. Grounding, collision, leakage, fire or serious reactor failure will require handling by the Norwegian authorities» (Strålevernrapport 2018:10). In the event of an accident, the consequences for Bergen and the entire West Coast will be catastrophic. We have no reason to believe that the authorities have a credible emergency preparedness in place in the event of an accident with a reactor-powered vessel. We only remind you that people in North Hordaland have fought in vain to lift the wreck of the German submarine U-864 which has been on the seabed off Fedje since 1945.

High probability of nuclear weapons on board
All submarines of this type can also have nuclear missiles on board. The Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) writes that «the reactor-powered military vessels are among the largest and most powerful vessels in existence. Most can be equipped with nuclear weapons» (FFI report 16/01536). The Norwegian authorities assume that Allied vessels do not have nuclear weapons on board at calls in the Norwegian Sea, but have never carried out an inspection to confirm that this reservation against nuclear weapons is respected. The anti-war initiative has been in contact with experts who independently say that the allied nuclear submarines that call at Haakonsvern «in all probability» have nuclear weapons on board.

The city council has said no to nuclear weapons
Cities are the main targets for the use of nuclear weapons, and local authorities therefore have a special responsibility to highlight opposition to the importance of nuclear weapons in military strategy and security policy. In 2019, the city council decided that Bergen municipality should sign the city appeal to ICAN – The international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons. This is how Bergen showed its support for the UN’s ban on nuclear weapons. As early as 2013, the city council unanimously decided to join «Mayors for Peace», a worldwide network of cities whose purpose is an international ban on nuclear weapons. That Haakonsvern is a port for nuclear submarines, which most likely have nuclear weapons on board, is contrary to local political decisions.

We therefore demand that Haakonsvern be closed to nuclear submarines.

See the petition (in Norwegian) or read more about the German submarine wreck, which is a lasting threat to the North Sea.

One thought on “Petition against nuclear submarines in Norway

  1. Webmaster Post author

    Some related links:

    “Et flytende atomkraftverk i nabolaget?” (in Norwegian):
    https://www.ba.no/et-flytende-atomkraftverk-i-nabolaget/o/5-8-1623759

    A reply by William Sætren (in Norwegian):
    https://www.ba.no/atomubater-er-ikke-det-samme-som-atomvapen/o/5-8-1629212

    The Virginia class submarines mentioned in Sætren’s reply are fitted with vertical launch system (VLS) tubes, which can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is planned that Virginia class will carry new nuclear-armed cruise missiles:
    http://www.military-today.com/navy/virginia_class.htm
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5546725/US-Navys-Virginia-Class-attack-submarines-equipped-nuclear-weapons.html

    The Tomahawk can carry either conventional or nuclear payloads. The nuclear-tipped Tomahawks are said to have left the US Navy’s inventory in the early 1990s. The discussion about nuclear cruise missiles in the US Navy is still going on:
    https://news.usni.org/2021/06/10/lawmakers-question-navys-decision-to-abandon-nuclear-cruise-missile

    And nuclear weapons can be very small. Some have been developed that can even be carried as a bag:
    https://listverse.com/2020/09/12/top-10-disturbingly-practical-nuclear-weapons/
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/25-years-us-special-forces-carried-miniature-nukes-their-backs-180949700/

    So perhaps a Virgina class sub could carry a nuclear weapon?

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