Trident: the need for a comprehensive risk assessment


The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), planned for publication on 23 November 2015, is expected to include an update on the Trident renewal project and financial estimates. Main Gate decision is likely to be put to Parliament early 2016. Like every major government project, MoD procurement officials will have conducted a detailed confidential risk analysis for the construction, but this project requires a far broader, comprehensive risk analysis over a set of areas, as listed in this briefing. If HM Treasury (HMT) is taking over financial oversight of the project as reported earlier in November then it needs to establish and maintain its own wide-ranging risk register.

The nature of the public debate over Trident renewal has been very polarised, focused on the decision on whether to invest in a new system or not. But Parliament has grave responsibilities beyond this single decision, in particular in overseeing the project and ensuring parliamentary accountability.

This publication outlines the risks associated with the Trident renewal programme and suggests that the National Audit Office (NAO) conduct a rapid multidimensional risk assessment encompassing the issues outlined in this brief and to make this available to all MPs. The NAO produces the annual defence Major Projects Report and the Equipment Plan, but this does not address the risks as outlined in this publication.

Read the full report by clicking the link below

Image: By UK Ministry of Defence ( [OGL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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About the author(s)...
  • Paul Ingram, Executive Director has been with BASIC since 2002 and been executive director since 2007. Paul has authored a number of BASIC's reports and briefings covering a variety of nuclear and non-nuclear issues..
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