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Rob Edwards
Edinburgh, Scotland
I'm a freelance environmental journalist.
Recent Activity
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from Sunday Herald, 24 May 2015 An inherent flaw in Trident missiles could lead to fires, explosions and widespread radioactive contamination, according to a top-secret safety manual leaked by the naval whistleblower, William McNeilly. The Royal Navy’s official instructions on how to take care of nuclear weapons reveal that the “chief potential hazard” from a live missile is the “accidental ignition” of solid rocket fuel. This could cause the warheads’ conventional high explosives to detonate... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 24 May 2015 McNeilly snapped in Portsmouth While the Trident whistleblower, William McNeilly, was being mysteriously moved around Britain last week, a massive nuclear bomb convoy trundled along some of Scotland’s busiest roads. Although the Ministry of Defence (MoD) would rather have kept the movements of both the man and the weapons secret, they were defeated by social media. A fellow sailor posted a photograph of McNeilly in the canteen of Nelson... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Rob Edwards
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18 May 2016 The nuclear weapons technician on the run since he blew the whistle on 30 alleged safety and security flaws on Trident submarines has said that he is going to give himself up to police today. In a new public post on Facebook just after 1pm, William McNeilly (25) said that had achieved what he wanted. "I set out to gather as much information as possible, as fast as possible, inform you and... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 18 May 2015 The nuclear weapons engineer on the run after he blew the whistle on 30 alleged safety and security flaws plaguing Trident submarines has told his family he’s planning to give himself up. Royal Navy submariner, William McNeilly (25), assured his brother on Facebook yesterday that he was “relatively safe now” though he couldn’t say where he was. “I will return to the UK and hand myself in soon,” he... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 17 May 2015 Trident submarines are plagued by serious security lapses, beset by multiple safety blunders and “a disaster waiting to happen”, according to a nuclear weapons engineer turned whistleblower now being hunted by the police. William McNeilly, who says he was on patrol with HMS Victorious from January to April this year, alleges that the Trident missiles it carries are vulnerable to a terrorist attack that “would kill our people and... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 17 May 2015 My name is William McNeilly. I am a weapons engineer submariner for the UK's Trident II D5 strategic weapons system. The penalty for releasing this report will be life prison if I’m lucky. The worst fear for me isn’t prison or being assassinated, it’s the fear of sacrificing everything I have just to warn the public and yet never be heard. My leave expires today. I will be hunted... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The Guardian, 14 May 2015 Safety limits on the storage of some of the world’s most dangerous nuclear wastes at Sellafield in Cumbria have been relaxed after an accident knocked out a treatment plant and caused “gross contamination”. The government’s safety watchdog, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), has permitted the private company that runs Sellafield to breach legal restrictions on the amount of hot, high-level radioactive waste that can be kept in tanks.... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 13 May 2015 The University of Edinburgh has been accused of betraying future generations by failing to withdraw its multi-million pound investments in climate-wrecking fossil fuels. Protesting students lay down on the steps of the university’s stately Old College yesterday and angrily confronted the senior vice principal, Professor Charlie Jeffery, after he announced a much more cautious approach to disinvestment than had been expected. The university rejected the option of withdrawing investments... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 10 May 2015 A toxic drug fed to caged salmon in Scotland is due to be withdrawn from the market after scientists found that that it can leak into lochs and kill crabs, shrimps and lobsters. Food pellets laced with a chemical called teflubenzuron have long been given to farmed salmon around the coast in order to control sea lice infestations. The lice eat salmon, killing them or stunting their growth, and... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 10 May 2015 They used to be ubiquitous in our towns and cities, flitting, pecking and chirping noisily. But now they have gone, and the streets have fallen silent. House sparrows - the brown, boisterous opportunists that were Britain’s best-known urban birds - have virtually disappeared. Scientists say their numbers have plummeted by up to 90 per cent since the 1970s. No-one is exactly sure why, though the loss of hedges, trees,... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 03 May 2015 A Scottish quarry company is launching a new bid to dig a massive hole on the banks of the Clyde despite being rejected four times in the last five years by the local council, the Scottish Government and the Court of Session. Outrage and shock have greeted news that Patersons Quarries is intending to lodge another planning application for a 3.3 million tonne sand and gravel quarry at Overburns... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 30 April 2015 Environmentalists claimed a “huge victory” yesterday as the Supreme Court ordered the UK government to take “immediate action” to cut lethal air pollution from traffic in Glasgow and 15 other cities. The ruling from the UK’s highest court will also put pressure on the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to do more to reduce toxic exhaust fumes, blamed for killing over 2,000 people every year in Scotland. Nitrogen... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 29 April 2015 The Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, has been accused of being a “fracking fan” following remarks he made to a BBC television documentary due to be screened this evening. In an interview about fracking for underground shale gas Ewing says that “we need to think how it will be, how it may be, applied to Scotland” and talks about the “opportunities” the industry could bring. The comments have been seized... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 26 April 2015 Grey squirrels, rhododendrons, Japanese knotweed and other hated alien invaders could be nature’s saviours, not its destroyers, according to a controversial new book. Instead of shooting, slashing and poisoning species from other countries, we should be celebrating them as our future, says leading science writer, Fred Pearce. They are not the ruffian vagabonds they are often portrayed as, but rather the go-getting pioneers that will create a “new wild”,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The Guardian, 24 April 2015 The head of a £16 billion defence company accused of arming dictatorships should be ousted from the governing body of the BBC, say campaigners. Sir Roger Carr, chairman of Europe’s biggest arms dealer, BAE Systems, is due to start work as vice-chairman of the BBC Trust on 1 May. But a campaign has been launched to get him sacked because of fears that he could influence BBC coverage of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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Exclusive, 22 April 2015 A government watchdog has reprimanded the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine base at Devonport in Plymouth after a string of safety breaches. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served the base with a legal enforcement notice to remedy flaws in the arrangements for protecting workers from radiation. It has also disclosed five incidents in which safety rules were broken between October and December last year, and described the procedures for reporting... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 20 April 2015 The Scottish Government has been accused of rushing to publish new findings on the horrific corkscrew injuries that kill seals in order to let the shipping industry off the hook. Internal documents show that officials moved rapidly to release research suggesting that cannibal seals were to blame for causing the lethal spiral lacerations, rather than ships’ propellers. They planned to tip the shipping industry off about the research ahead... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 19 April 2015 Traditional lairds whose shooting estates are wrecking the natural environment “embody the selfish greed of a Victorian era”, according to one of Scotland’s most respected conservationists. In a powerful and emotional swansong yesterday, Dick Balharry, who has played leading roles in four major environmental organisations over the last 50 years, condemned the vested interests of most private landowners in Scotland as “outdated and ludicrous”. Balharry was speaking after being... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from The National, 14 April 2015 The failure of Glasgow to curb air pollution from traffic - blamed for killing hundreds of people every year - is to be challenged in the UK Supreme Court later this week. The environment group, Client Earth, is taking the UK government to court for allowing lethal and illegal levels of toxic gases belched out by vehicle exhausts to persist in the city centre. Glasgow is one of 16... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 12 April 2015 The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun work on stationing new Trident submarines on the Clyde before the UK parliament has decided whether or not to give them the go-ahead, the Sunday Herald can reveal. The MoD has launched a series of studies into how the Faslane and Coulport naval bases can accommodate larger “successor” submarines to replace the four existing Trident boats. But the decision on whether they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 12 April 2015 Early on Monday morning hundreds of protestors from across Scotland are planning to blockade the Faslane nuclear bomb base near Helensburgh with the aim of closing it down for the day. Many will lock themselves together to block access roads and stop staff and military officials from getting to work. There are likely to be multiple arrests, with a major operation by Police Scotland and the Ministry of Defence... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 5 April 2015 The billionaire property tycoon and would-be US presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been accused of seeking to subvert the planning process in Aberdeenshire with a rash of new applications for houses, holiday lets and a second golf course. Critics say that his applications are designed to avoid a series of conditions imposed by the Scottish Government in 2008 when he was first controversially given the go-ahead for his golf... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 5 April 2015 The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has rejected a bid by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to prevent civil servants in Scotland from talking to the media without getting permission from ministers, the Sunday Herald can reveal. But unions say that tens of thousands of people employed by UK government agencies north of the border will still be “gagged”. Pressure on Westminster to reverse its new curb on freedom of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 29 March 2015 An investigation is under way after radiation leaked into a drain at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian, the Sunday Herald can reveal. A suspect waste discharge pipe at the plant has been taken out of service, and contaminated water has had to be been removed and disposed of. Government safety watchdogs have carried out an inspection and are being kept informed of investigations. The radiation leak... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Rob Edwards
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from Sunday Herald, 29 March 2015 Scottish ministers have been accused of “foot-dragging” after it emerged that the promised public consultation on fracking has been delayed until the autumn, pushing the outcome beyond the Scottish election in 2016. The Sunday Herald understands from political sources that the Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, is planning to tell the Scottish Parliament soon that the consultation will begin in November and run until January. This is months later than... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Rob Edwards