Devonport submarine HMS Tireless back in Plymouth after reactor coolant leak
A NUCLEAR submarine has been forced to return to its home base in Devonport after a coolant leak in the reactor compartment.
HMS Tireless initially returned to Faslane Naval Base in Scotland where the leak was inspected. The submarine was then sent back to Plymouth for repairs.
It is believed the Hunter-Killer sub had been exercising off the west coast when the leak was discovered.
Although HMS Tireless needs repairing, the Navy said there was "no intention" to carry out checks on the other operational Trafalgar class boats.
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A Royal Navy spokesman said: "HMS Tireless returned to Devonport Naval Base for repair following a small coolant leak that was contained within the sealed reactor compartment.
"There is no intention to carry out additional maintenance or inspections on other submarines as a result of seeing this small defect in HMS Tireless.
"There is no risk to the public, the environment or the crew."
The spokesman also said it was "too early" to comment on the length of time repairs could take.
It is not the first time problems have arisen within the T-boat.
In 2010 it was revealed that inspections were undertaken on the entire fleet of Trafalgar class submarines after valves designed to release pressure from steam generators in an emergency were found to be blocked off aboard HMS Turbulent and HMS Tireless.
The problem arose because of the failure to remove 'blanks' fitted as part of testing during maintenance work at Devonport.
In 2007 two submariners aboard HMS Tireless were killed after an oxygen generator exploded while the vessel was submerged under the Arctic ice cap. HMS Tireless was also one of two T-Class boats put out of action for more than nine months after safety restrictions were imposed in September 2004. In 2000 the boat was also taken out of service when a fault appeared in the nuclear reactor.
The Navy will have four operational T-boats during repairs.