May 28, 2015 / 12:49 PM / 5 years ago

UK says rejects whistleblower's warning over nuclear submarines

Britain's Defense Minsiter Michael Fallon of the ruling Conservative Party makes a speech in London, April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has completed an inquiry into a whistleblower’s allegations that its nuclear-armed submarines have major security flaws and is satisfied no safety breaches have occurred, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Thursday.

Able Seaman William McNeilly released a lengthy dossier on the internet earlier this month in which he said Britain’s Trident nuclear defence system was vulnerable to its enemies and to potentially devastating accidents because of safety failures.

“Neither the operational effectiveness of our continuous at sea deterrent nor the safety of our submariners or members of the public have been compromised,” Fallon said in a written statement to parliament.

Fallon said McNeilly, who described himself as a weapons engineer, was still being trained at the time and had published his comments after his first submarine deployment without raising his concerns with colleagues.

“Most of McNeilly’s concerns proved to be either factually incorrect or the result of mis-or partial understanding,” said Fallon.

The Ministry of Defence said McNeilly was arrested after failing to report for duty and has since been released but is being confined to military accommodation while his actions are investigated. He is still employed by the Royal Navy.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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