THERE are plans for a new building at Rosyth Dockyard to dismantle the old nuclear submarines that are stored there.

Babcock International has applied to Fife Council for permission to construct a large steel shed at dry dock number two.

If approved it will be 70 metres long, 18m wide and 20m high and "aid dismantling operations" at the yard, where seven old subs have been laid up for decades.

A separate planning application related to the project, for a metal waste disposal facility at the corner of Wood Road and Caledonia Road, was submitted to the council late last year.

The National: One of the old nuclear subs, Dreadnought, has been laid up at Rosyth for 44 years. One of the old nuclear subs, Dreadnought, has been laid up at Rosyth for 44 years. (Image: Newsquest)

Blyth and Blyth, of Edinburgh, have been appointed by Babcock as civil and structural engineering consultants for the Rosyth Submarine Dismantling Project and are agents for both applications.

The last of the subs at the dockyard came out of service in 1996 and Dreadnought has been there the longest, coming up for 44 years.

Laid up in Rosyth since 1980, longer than it was in service, getting rid of it and the six other vessels is part of a pledge given in 2022 by the UK Government to Fife Council to "de-nuclearise Rosyth" by 2035.

Councillors were also told of a world first with plans to take out the reactor - "the most radioactive part" - before cutting up the ships with the overall ambition of turning them into "razor blades and tin cans".

Most of the low-level radioactive waste should be gone from Rosyth by the end of this year.

Documents submitted with the latest planning application says that the new building would be 1162 square metres in size.

The site is currently an area of hardstanding, used for the external storage of materials and equipment associated with the refurbishment of vessels in the dry dock.

Waste produced from the dismantling process "shall be processed in other existing buildings within the dock facilities".

In total, the UK has 27 old Royal Navy submarines to be scrapped - others are stored at Devonport - and the UK Government has been heavily criticised for delays in dealing with the nuclear legacy. 

Maintaining the vessels costs £30m a year.