Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback104 pages $20.00

Currently in the United Kingdom, BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness shipyard builds and fuels new submarines, while Devonport Management Limited (DML) refuels existing submarines-once their initial fuel load is depleted-and defuels them at retirement. Cost increases in maintaining regulating licenses at both facilities have led the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to consider the possibility of consolidating its nuclear fuel-handling capabilities at the existing refuelling site at DML. Consolidation would, however, have complex implications for cost and scheduling of the Astute programme, which is already under way. The authors of this report compare various aspects of the two shipyards, including facility conflicts, workload, nuclear regulation, and contractual issues, in regard to three cases hypothesized for distributing the share of Astute’s fuelling between the yards. As a result of this analysis, it is recommended that the MOD not consider refuelling the Astute first of class at DML. The authors also look briefly at BAE Systems’ recent proposal to fuel the submarines at Barrow in a way that reduces the risks of nuclear accidents and recommend that the MOD take immediate action in reviewing this proposal. They also suggest that the MOD promptly examine the transportation challenges associated with moving the Astute submarines from the Barrow docks to the open sea.

The research described in this report was prepared for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence. The research was conducted jointly in RAND Europe and the RAND National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.