Defense officials in the United Kingdom demanded an immediate investigation after British media reported that one of the nation’s nuclear submarines had been reattached using super glue.
After finding that a Trident submarine had been inappropriately repaired, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace commissioned an immediate investigation.
The findings of routine inspections revealed that some of the damaged bolt heads, which are responsible for repairing the cooling pipes in the HMS Vanguard nuclear reactor, were reattached using super glue.
The locks appear to have been damaged, but engineers at defence contractor Babcock simply re-glued them rather than repairing them, according to initial evidence.
At least 7 fasteners on the coolant pipes are known to have been handled in the manner described above. A nuclear reactor meltdown could result from that remedy.
However, that flaw wasn’t found until the first scheduled start-up of the reactor at full power in early January 2023, when one of the bolt heads fell loose during routine inspections.
British defence authorities are alleged to have been incensed by the episode. Defense Secretary Wallace called for a quick meeting and urged all parties to prioritise quality going forward.
According to a source in the Royal Navy, Babcock’s failure to report the unsuccessful repairs infuriated Mr. Wallace, especially considering that the vessel in question was nuclear-powered.
On HMS Vanguard, the repair work was already nearly $370 million over budget and four years behind schedule.